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Maternity Leave and Children's Cognitive and Behavioral Development

  • Michael Baker
  • Kevin S. Milligan

We investigate the impact of maternity leave on the cognitive and behavioral development of children at ages 4 and 5, following up previous research on these children at younger ages. The impact is identified by legislated increases in the duration of maternity leave in Canada, which significantly increased the amount of first-year maternal care. Our results indicate no positive effect on indices of children's cognitive and behavioral development. We uncover a small negative impact on cognitive scores, which may indicate the timing of the mother/child separation due to the mother's return to work plays a role.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17105.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17105.

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Date of creation: Jun 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17105
Note: CH
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  1. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  2. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "Does Early Maternal Employment Harm Child Development? An Analysis of the Potential Benefits of Leave Taking," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 381-408, April.
  3. Loeb, Susanna & Bridges, Margaret & Bassok, Daphna & Fuller, Bruce & Rumberger, Russell W., 2007. "How much is too much? The influence of preschool centers on children's social and cognitive development," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 52-66, February.
  4. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2010. "Evidence from Maternity Leave Expansions of the Impact of Maternal Care on Early Child Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
  5. Baker, Michael & Milligan, Kevin, 2008. "Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 871-887, July.
  6. Carneiro, Pedro & Løken, Katrine Vellesen & Salvanes, Kjell Gunnar, 2010. "A Flying Start? Long Term Consequences of Maternal Time Investments in Children During Their First Year of Life," Working Papers in Economics 06/10, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  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. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan & Matthieu Verstraete, 2008. "Childcare Policy and Cognitive Outcomes of Children: Results from a Large Scale Quasi-Experiment on Universal Childcare in Canada," Cahiers de recherche 0823, CIRPEE.
  9. 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.
  10. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
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