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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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    Cited by:

    1. Nicole Guertzgen & Karsten Hank, 2018. "Maternity Leave and Mothers’ Long-Term Sickness Absence: Evidence From West Germany," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(2), pages 587-615, April.
    2. Chuard, Caroline, 2020. "Womb at work: The missing impact of maternal employment on newborn health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    3. Tudor, Simona, 2020. "Financial incentives, fertility and early life child outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    4. Brenøe, Anne Ardila & Canaan, Serena & Harmon, Nikolaj & Royer, Heather, 2019. "Is Parental Leave Costly for Firms and Coworkers?," IZA Discussion Papers 12870, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Petra Persson & Maya Rossin-Slater, 2019. "When Dad Can Stay Home: Fathers' Workplace Flexibility and Maternal Health," NBER Working Papers 25902, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Fabel, Marc, 2021. "Maternity leave and children's health outcomes in the long-term," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    7. LEBIHAN, Laetitia & MAO TAKONGMO, Charles Olivier, 2019. "The Effect of Paid Parental Leave on Breastfeeding, Parental Health and Behavior," MPRA Paper 95719, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. 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.
    9. Bullinger, Lindsey Rose, 2019. "The Effect of Paid Family Leave on Infant and Parental Health in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 101-116.
    10. Huebener, Mathias & Kuehnle, Daniel & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2019. "Parental leave policies and socio-economic gaps in child development: Evidence from a substantial benefit reform using administrative data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    11. Nabanita Datta Gupta, 2018. "Maternity leave versus early childcare—What are the long-term consequences for children?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 438-438, May.
    12. Zhang, Chi & Managi, Shunsuke, 2020. "Functional social support and maternal stress: A study on the 2017 paid parental leave reform in Japan," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 153-172.
    13. Katrin Huber, 2019. "Changes in parental leave and young children’s non-cognitive skills," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 89-119, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Maternity leave; Family health; Regression- Discontinuity;
    All these keywords.

    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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