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The Length of Maternity Leave and Family Health

Author

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  • Louise Voldby Beuchert

    () (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)

  • Maria Knoth Humlum

    (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)

  • Rune Vejlin

    (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Abstract

We study the relationship between the length of maternity leave and the physical and psychological health of the family. Using a reform of the parental leave scheme in Denmark that increased the number of weeks of leave with full benefit compensation, we estimate the effect of the length of maternity leave on a range of health indicators including the number of hospital admissions for both mother and child and the probability of the mother receiving antidepressants. The reform led to an increase in average post-birth maternity leave of 32 days. We find limited evidence that the increase in the length of maternity leave matters for child or maternal health outcomes and thus we complement the existing evidence on maternity leave expansions that tends to _find limited effects on children's later developmental, educational, and labor market outcomes. Our results suggest that any beneficial effects of increasing the length of maternity leave are greater for low-resource families.

Suggested Citation

  • Louise Voldby Beuchert & Maria Knoth Humlum & Rune Vejlin, 2014. "The Length of Maternity Leave and Family Health," Economics Working Papers 2014-12, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2014-12
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:demogr:v:55:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s13524-018-0654-y is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Gallen, Yana, 2016. "The effect of maternity leave extensions on firms and coworkers," MPRA Paper 73284, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Aug 2016.
    3. Caroline Chuard, 2018. "Womb at work: the missing impact of maternal employment on newborn health," ECON - Working Papers 301, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Huebener, Mathias & Kühnle, Daniel & Spieß, C. Katharina, 2018. "Parental Leave Policies and Socio-Economic Gaps in Child Development: Evidence from a Substantial Benefit Reform Using Administrative Data," IZA Discussion Papers 11794, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Mathias Huebener & Daniel Kuehnle & C. Katharina Spiess, 2017. "Paid Parental Leave and Child Development: Evidence from the 2007 German Parental Benefit Reform and Administrative Data," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1651, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. repec:iza:izawol:journl:y:2018:n:438 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:kap:reveho:v:17:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s11150-017-9380-2 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Maternity leave; Family health; Regression- Discontinuity;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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