A Flying Start? Maternity Leave Benefits and Long Run Outcomes of Children

78 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2011

See all articles by Pedro Manuel Carneiro

Pedro Manuel Carneiro

University College London - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Katrine Vellesen Løken

University of Bergen - Department of Economics

Kjell G. Salvanes

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We study the impact on children of increasing maternity leave benefits using a reform that increased paid and unpaid maternity leave in Norway in July 1977. Mothers giving birth before this date were eligible only for 12 weeks of unpaid leave, while those giving birth after were entitled to 4 months of paid leave and 12 months of unpaid leave. This increased time with the child led to a 2.7 percentage points decline in high school dropout and a 5% increase in wages at age 30. For mothers with low education we find a 5.2 percentage points decline in high school dropout and an 8% increase in wages at age 30. The effect is especially large for children of those mothers who, prior to the reform, would take very low levels of unpaid leave.

Keywords: maternity leave, children's outcomes

JEL Classification: J13, J18

Suggested Citation

Carneiro, Pedro Manuel and Løken, Katrine Vellesen and Salvanes, Kjell G., A Flying Start? Maternity Leave Benefits and Long Run Outcomes of Children. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5793. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1872741

Pedro Manuel Carneiro (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Katrine Vellesen Løken

University of Bergen - Department of Economics ( email )

Fosswinckelsgt. 6
N-5007 Bergen, 5007
Norway

Kjell G. Salvanes

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway
+47 5 595 9315 (Phone)
+47 5 595 9543 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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