Maternity Leave, Early Maternal Employment and Child Health and Development in the US
Lawrence M. Berger
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty and School of Soical Work
Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)
Columbia University - School of Social Work
Economic Journal, Vol. 115, No. 501, pp. F29-F47, February 2005
This paper uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to explore links between mothers' returns to work within 12 weeks of giving birth and health and developmental outcomes for their children. OLS models and propensity score matching methods are utilised to account for selection bias. Considerable associations between early returns to work and children's outcomes are found suggesting causal relationships between early returns to work and reductions in breastfeeding and immunisations, as well as increases in externalising behaviour problems. These results are generally stronger for mothers who return to work full-time within 12 weeks of giving birth.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 3, 2005
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