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The Effects of California's Paid Family Leave Program on Mothers' Leave-Taking and Subsequent Labor Market Outcomes

  • Rossin-Slater, Maya


    (University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • Ruhm, Christopher J.


    (University of Virginia)

  • Waldfogel, Jane


    (Columbia University)

This analysis uses March Current Population Survey data from 1999-2010 and a differences-in-differences approach to examine how California's first in the nation paid family leave (PFL) program affected leave-taking by mothers following childbirth, as well as subsequent labor market outcomes. We obtain robust evidence that the California program more than doubled the overall use of maternity leave, increasing it from around three to six or seven weeks for the typical new mother – with particularly large growth for less advantaged groups. We also provide suggestive evidence that PFL increased the usual weekly work hours of employed mothers of one-to-three year-old children by 6 to 9% and that their wage incomes may have risen by a similar amount.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6240.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6240
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  1. Michael Baker & Kevin S. Milligan, 2007. "Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates," NBER Working Papers 13188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Labour Force Participation of Women: Empirical Evidence on The Role of Policy and Other Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2003(2), pages 51-108.
  3. Burgess, Simon & Gregg, Paul & Propper, Carol & Washbrook, Elizabeth, 2008. "Maternity rights and mothers' return to work," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 168-201, April.
  4. Paul Gregg & Maria Gutierrez-Domenech & Jane Waldfogel, 2003. "The Employment of Married Mothers in Great Britain: 1974-2000," CEP Discussion Papers dp0596, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
  6. Carneiro, Pedro & Løken, Katrine & Salvanes, Kjell G, 2010. "A flying start? Long term consequences of maternal time investments in children during their first year of life," CEPR Discussion Papers 8124, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Liu, Qian & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2009. "The duration of paid parental leave and children’s scholastic performance," Working Paper Series 2009:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  8. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
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