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The Effect of Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage on Children's Long-Term Outcomes

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  • Dustmann, Christian

    () (University College London)

  • Schönberg, Uta

    () (University College London)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of three major expansions in leave coverage in Germany on the long-run education and labor market outcomes of children. Evaluation of three policy reforms as opposed to a single reform enables us to analyze whether the impact of paid leave differs from that of unpaid leave, and whether an expansion of a relatively short leave period is more beneficial to child development than an expansion of an already long leave period. Our empirical analysis combines two large administrative data sources on wages, unemployment, and school outcomes. We identify the causal impact of the reforms by comparing outcomes of children born shortly before and shortly after a change in maternity leave legislation, and therefore require substantially weaker assumptions for identification than existing studies. We find little support for the hypothesis that an expansion in maternity leave legislation improves children’s outcomes. Given the precision of our estimates, we can statistically rule out the hypothesis that the expansion in paid leave from 2 to 6 (unpaid leave from 18 to 36) months raised wages (attendance at high track schools) by more than 0.3 % (0.1 %).

Suggested Citation

  • Dustmann, Christian & Schönberg, Uta, 2008. "The Effect of Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage on Children's Long-Term Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 3605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3605
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Catherine Deri-Armstrong, 2009. "The Long-term Effects of Maternal Employment on Daughters’ Later Labour Force Participation and Earnings," Working Papers 0914E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    2. Rasmussen, Astrid Würtz, 2010. "Increasing the length of parents' birth-related leave: The effect on children's long-term educational outcomes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 91-100, January.
    3. Juliane Scheffel, 2011. "Identifying the Effect of Temporal Work Flexibility on Parental Time with Children," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2011-024, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
    4. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "How Does Job-Protected Maternity Leave Affect Mothers' Employment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 655-691, October.
    5. Washbrook Elizabeth & Ruhm Christopher J & Waldfogel Jane & Han Wen-Jui, 2011. "Public Policies, Women's Employment after Childbearing, and Child Well-Being," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-50, July.
    6. Katrin Sommerfeld, 2009. "Older Babies - More Active Mothers? How Maternal Labor Supply Changes as the Child Grows," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 129(2), pages 227-240.
    7. Åslund, Olof & Grönqvist, Hans, 2010. "Family size and child outcomes: Is there really no trade-off?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 130-139, January.
    8. Pedro Carneiro & Katrine V. Løken & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2015. "A Flying Start? Maternity Leave Benefits and Long-Run Outcomes of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 123(2), pages 365-412.
    9. Andreas Thiemann, 2016. "How Does Maternal Pension Wealth Affect Family Old-Age Savings in Germany?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1560, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Rossin, Maya, 2011. "The effects of maternity leave on children's birth and infant health outcomes in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 221-239, March.
    11. Rege, Mari & Solli, Ingebor F, 2010. "The impact of paternity leave on long-term father involvement," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2010/4, University of Stavanger.
    12. Liu Qian & Skans Oskar Nordstrom, 2010. "The Duration of Paid Parental Leave and Children's Scholastic Performance," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-35, January.
    13. Schildberg-Hoerisch, Hannah, 2011. "Does parental employment affect children's educational attainment?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1456-1467.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    maternity leave; child development;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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