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Parental Leave Policies and Parents' Employment and Leave-Taking

  • Wen-Jui Han
  • Christopher Ruhm
  • Jane Waldfogel

Utilizing data from the June Current Population Survey (CPS) Fertility Supplement merged with data from other months of the CPS, we describe trends in parents' employment and leave-taking after birth of a newborn and analyze the extent to which these behaviors are associated with parental leave policies. The period we examine -- 1987 to 2004 -- is one in which such policies were expanded at both the state and federal level. We also provide the first comprehensive evidence as to how these expansions are correlated with employment and leave-taking for both mothers and fathers over this period. Our main finding is that leave expansions have increased the amount of time that new mothers and fathers spend on leave, with effects that are small in absolute terms but large relative to the baseline for men and much greater for college-educated women than for their counterparts with less schooling.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13697.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Publication status: published as Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2009. "Parental leave policies and parents' employment and leave-taking," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 29-54.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13697
Note: CH LS PE
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  1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  2. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1992. "Marriage, Motherhood, and Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 233-255.
  3. Wen-Jui Han & Jane Waldfogel, 2003. "Parental leave: The impact of recent legislation on parents’ leave taking," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 191-200, February.
  4. Lawrence M. Berger & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Maternity leave and the employment of new mothers in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 331-349, 06.
  5. Pinka Chatterji & Sara Markowitz, 2004. "Does the Length of Maternity Leave Affect Maternal Health?," NBER Working Papers 10206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "The Effects of Maternity Leave Legislation on Mothers' Labor Supply after Childbirth," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 772-799, April.
  7. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2000. "Parental leave and child health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 931-960, November.
  8. Rebecca M. Blank, 2002. "Evaluating Welfare Reform in the United States," NBER Working Papers 8983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Suzanne Bianchi, 2000. "Maternal employment and time with children: Dramatic change or surprising continuity?," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 401-414, November.
  11. Blau, Francine D & Grossberg, Adam J, 1992. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 474-81, August.
  12. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," NBER Working Papers 5688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  14. Bruce D. Meyer & Dan T. Rosenbaum, 1998. "Welfare, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Labor Supply of Single Mothers," JCPR Working Papers 32, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  15. Sonalde Desai & P. L. Chase-Lansdale & Robert Michael, . "Mother or Market? Effects of Maternal Employment on Cognitive Development of Four-year-old Children," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 88-11, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  16. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1997. "Policy Watch: The Family and Medical Leave Act," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 175-186, Summer.
  17. Sakiko Tanaka, 2005. "Parental leave and child health across OECD countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages F7-F28, 02.
  18. Lawrence M. Berger & Jennifer Hill & Jane Waldfogel, 2005. "Maternity leave, early maternal employment and child health and development in the US," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages F29-F47, 02.
  19. Steven J. Haider & Alison Jacknowitz & Robert F. Schoeni, 2002. "Welfare Work Requirements and Individual Well-being: Evidence from the Effects on Breastfeeding," Working Papers 02-01, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  20. Lundberg, Shelly & Rose, Elaina, 2000. "Parenthood and the earnings of married men and women," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 689-710, November.
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