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The Effects of Paid Family Leave in California on Labor Market Outcomes

Listed author(s):
  • Charles L. Baum
  • Christopher J. Ruhm

Using data from the 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY-97), we examine the effects of California's first in the nation government-mandated paid family leave program (CA-PFL) on mothers' and fathers' use of leave during the period surrounding child birth, and on the timing of mothers' return to work, the probability of eventually returning to pre-childbirth jobs, and subsequent labor market outcomes. Our results show that CA-PFL raised leave-taking by around 2.4 weeks for the average mother and just under one week for the average father. The timing of the increased leave use - immediately after birth for men and around the time that temporary disability insurance benefits are exhausted for women - is consistent with causal effects of CA-PFL. Rights to paid leave are also associated with higher work and employment probabilities for mothers nine to twelve months after birth, possibly because they increase job continuity among those with relatively weak labor force attachments. We also find positive effects of California's program on hours and weeks of work during their child's second year of life and possibly also on wages.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19741.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19741.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
Publication status: published as Charles L. Baum & Christopher J. Ruhm, 2016. "The Effects of Paid Family Leave in California on Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, vol 35(2), pages 333-356.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19741
Note: CH LS PE
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  1. Lawrence M. Berger & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Maternity leave and the employment of new mothers in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(2), pages 331-349, 06.
  2. Pinka Chatterji & Sara Markowitz, 2005. "Does the Length of Maternity Leave Affect Maternal Health?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 16-41, July.
  3. Chiara Pronzato, 2009. "Return to work after childbirth: does parental leave matter in Europe?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 341-360, December.
  4. Rossin, Maya, 2011. "The effects of maternity leave on children's birth and infant health outcomes in the United States," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 221-239, March.
  5. Baum, Charles II, 2003. "The effect of state maternity leave legislation and the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act on employment and wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 573-596, October.
  6. Wen-Jui, Han & Ruhm, Christopher J. & Waldfogel, Jane, 2007. "Parental Leave Policies and Parents’ Employment and Leave-Taking," IZA Discussion Papers 3244, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2000. "Parental leave and child health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 931-960, November.
  8. 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).
  9. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Nina Smith & Mette Verner, 2008. "PERSPECTIVE ARTICLE: The impact of Nordic countries’ family friendly policies on employment, wages, and children," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 65-89, March.
  10. Wen-Jui Han & Jane Waldfogel, 2003. "Parental leave: The impact of recent legislation on parents’ leave taking," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(1), pages 191-200, February.
  11. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," NBER Working Papers 5688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Sakiko Tanaka, 2005. "Parental leave and child health across OECD countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages 7-28, 02.
  13. Maria Hanratty & Eileen Trzcinski, 2009. "Who benefits from paid family leave? Impact of expansions in Canadian paid family leave on maternal employment and transfer income," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(3), pages 693-711, July.
  14. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, 2009. "How Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return to Work? Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1363-1402.
  15. 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.
  16. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
  17. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:41-74 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Schönberg, Uta & Ludsteck, Johannes, 2007. "Maternity Leave Legislation, Female Labor Supply, and the Family Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 2699, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Jane Waldfogel, 1999. "The impact of the family and medical leave act," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(2), pages 281-302.
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