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A Flying Start? Maternity Leave Benefits and Long Run Outcomes of Children

  • Carneiro, Pedro


    (University College London)

  • Loken, Katrine Vellesen


    (University of Bergen)

  • Salvanes, Kjell G.


    (Norwegian School of Economics)

We study the impact on children of increasing maternity leave benefits using a reform that increased paid and unpaid maternity leave in Norway in July 1977. Mothers giving birth before this date were eligible only for 12 weeks of unpaid leave, while those giving birth after were entitled to 4 months of paid leave and 12 months of unpaid leave. This increased time with the child led to a 2.7 percentage points decline in high school dropout and a 5% increase in wages at age 30. For mothers with low education we find a 5.2 percentage points decline in high school dropout and an 8% increase in wages at age 30. The effect is especially large for children of those mothers who, prior to the reform, would take very low levels of unpaid leave.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5793.

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Length: 78 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Political Economy, 2015, 123(2), 365-412
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5793
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  2. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2010. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence From Project STAR," NBER Working Papers 16381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," CeMMAP working papers CWP22/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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  14. Bernal, Raquel & Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Quasi-structural estimation of a model of childcare choices and child cognitive ability production," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 164-189, May.
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