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The Impact of Provincial Maternity and Parental Leave Policies on Employment Rates of Women with Young Children in Canada

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  • Adrienne ten Cate

Abstract

Maternity and parental leave policies are on the forefront of the current political agenda in Canada. This paper answers the question: does maternity and parental leave (M/PL) policy raise or lower the probability of employment for a woman? One unique feature of M/PL policy in Canada is the variation in mandated unpaid job-protected leave allowances across provinces. This variation is used in this study to identify the effect of provincial M/PL policies on employment rates of women with young children. Using the Canadian Labour Force Survey (LFS) data from 1976 to 2000, I find evidence that M/PL policy reduces the gap between the employment probabilities of women with young children versus women with older children. Moreover, a difference-in-differences model predicts a 3 to 4 percent increase in the probability of employment for women with young children (aged 0 to 2) relative to women with older children as a result of M/PL policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrienne ten Cate, 2003. "The Impact of Provincial Maternity and Parental Leave Policies on Employment Rates of Women with Young Children in Canada," Department of Economics Working Papers 2003-03, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:deptwp:2003-03
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    File URL: http://socserv.mcmaster.ca/econ/rsrch/papers/archive/2003-03.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shelley Phipps & Peter Burton & Lynn Lethbridge, 2001. "In and out of the labour market: long-term income consequences of child-related interruptions to women's paid work," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 411-429, May.
    2. Schwartz, L., 1988. "Parental and Maternity Leave Policies in Canada and Sweden," Papers 18, Queen's at Kingston - Sch. of Indus. Relat. Research Essay Series.
    3. Angrist, Joshua D. & Krueger, Alan B., 1999. "Empirical strategies in labor economics," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 23, pages 1277-1366 Elsevier.
    4. Marit RÃnsen & Marianne SundstrÃm, 1996. "Maternal employment in Scandinavia: A comparison of the after-birth employment activity of Norwegian and Swedish women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 267-285.
    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. Phipps, S.A., 1998. "Potential Access to Maternity and Parental Benefits in Canada: Implications of the Switch from UI to EI," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 98-02, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
    7. Yoshio Higuchi & Jane Waldfogel & Masahiro Abe, 1999. "Family leave policies and women's retention after childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain, and Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
    8. Shelley A. Phipps, 2000. "Maternity and Parental Benefits in Canada: Are there Behavioural Implications?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(4), pages 415-436, December.
    9. Christopher J. Ruhm & Jackqueline L. Teague, 1995. "Parental Leave Policies in Europe and North America," NBER Working Papers 5065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Ronsen, Marit & Sundstrom, Marianne, 1996. "Maternal Employment in Scandinavia: A Comparison of the After-Birth Employment Activity of Norwegian and Swedish Women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 267-285, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Raquel Bernal & Adriana Camacho & Carmen Elisa Flórez & Alejandro Gaviria, 2009. "Desarrollo económico: retos y políticas públicas," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 005269, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
    2. Jerome De Henau & Daniele Meulders & Sile O'Dorchai, 2010. "Maybe Baby: Comparing Partnered Women's Employment and Child Policies in the EU-15," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(1), pages 43-77.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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