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The Effect of Paid Parental Leave on Child Health in Australia

Author

Listed:
  • Barbara Broadway

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

  • Guyonne Kalb

    () (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne)

Abstract

Providing mothers with access to paid parental leave may be an important public policy to improve child and maternal health. Using extensive information from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Children (LSAC), we contribute to the literature by estimating the effect of paid parental leave entitlements on child health up to age seven. Exploiting detailed information on children’s health, family background, mothers’ pre-birth work histories and mothers’ health behaviours during pregnancy within a propensity score matching framework, we show that paid parental leave entitlements reduce the probability of a child having multiple ongoing health conditions, but do not significantly affect any single condition. We find that the effect on multiple conditions is strongest for children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Our study implies that the provision of paid parental leave, even for short periods (as usually available in Australia), will benefit children’s health.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbara Broadway & Guyonne Kalb, 2015. "The Effect of Paid Parental Leave on Child Health in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2015n09, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:iae:iaewps:wp2015n09
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    File URL: http://melbourneinstitute.unimelb.edu.au/downloads/working_paper_series/wp2015n09.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bassford, Micaela & Fisher, Hayley, 2016. "Bonus babies? The impact of paid parental leave on fertility intentions," Working Papers 2016-04, University of Sydney, School of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child health; parental leave; Australia; LSAC;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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