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Maternity Leave Policies and Womens Employment after Childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain and Japan

  • Masahiro Abe
  • Yoshio Higuchi
  • Jane Waldfogel

This paper uses microdata from the United States, Britain and Japan to examine the effects of family leave coverage on women's employment after childbirth. The United States had no national family leave legislation until 1993, but many women were covered by employer policies. Britain has had maternity leave legislation since 1978, but until 1993 only about half of working women were covered. Japan has had maternity leave legislation since 1947 but not all workers were covered. We find that young children continue to have a very negative effect on women's employment, particularly in Britain. We also find that family leave coverage increases the likelihood that a woman will return to her employer after childbirth, with a particularly marked effect in Japan. This result suggests that the recent expansions in family leave coverage are likely to lead to increased employment of women after childbirth.

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File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cp/Paper3.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE in its series CASE Papers with number case03.

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Date of creation: Jan 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cep:sticas:case03
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case/_new/publications/default.asp

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  1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences Of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons From Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317, February.
  2. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 1992. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 4224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gronau, Reuben, 1973. "The Effect of Children on the Housewife's Value of Time," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S168-99, Part II, .
  4. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
  5. Wolfgang HÄRDLE & J. MARRON & L. YANG, 1996. "Discussion," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1996,65, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  6. Alice Nakamura & Masao Nakamura, 1994. "Predicting Female Labor Supply: Effects of Children and Recent Work Experience," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 304-327.
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