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The impact of the family and medical leave act

  • Jane Waldfogel

    (Columbia University)

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    This article uses data from employer surveys and the March Current Population Survey to investigate the impact of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on coverage, leave-taking, employment, and earnings. The variation in state laws prior to the FMLA and the variation in coverage under the FMLA provides a “natural experiment” in which the effect of the law can be compared for treatment and con-trol groups. Although the FMLA covers less than half of workers in the private sector (many of whom already had coverage pre-FMLA), this article finds that leave cover-age and usage did increase post-FMLA. The other surprising finding is that this mandated benefit had no significant negative effects on women's employment or wages. ©1999 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 18 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 281-302

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:18:y:1999:i:2:p:281-302
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/34787/home

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    1. Anderson, Patricia M. & Meyer, Bruce D., 1997. "The effects of firm specific taxes and government mandates with an application to the U.S. unemployment insurance program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 119-145, August.
    2. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
    3. Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
    4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1997. "Policy Watch: The Family and Medical Leave Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 175-186, Summer.
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