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Maternity Leave and the Responsiveness of Female Labor Supply to a Household Shock

  • Emma Tominey


    (University of York)

Female labor supply can insure households against shocks to paternal employment. The paper estimates whether the female labor supply response to a paternal employment shock differs by eligibility to maternity employment protection. We exploit time-state variation in the implementation of unpaid maternity leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in the US which increased employment protection from 0 to 12 weeks. We find that mothers eligible for FMLA speed up their return to work in response to a paternal shock, with a conditional probability of being in work 53% higher than in households with no paternal shock. In contrast, there was a negligible insurance response for mothers with no employment protection.

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Paper provided by Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group in its series Working Papers with number 2013-016.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2013-016
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