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The Long-Run Effect of Maternity Leave Benefits on Mental Health: Evidence from European Countries

33 Pages Posted: 15 May 2014  

Mauricio Avendano

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Lisa Berkman

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Agar Brugiavini

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia

Giacomo Pasini

Ca' Foscari University Venice; Netspar

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 12, 2014

Abstract

This paper examines whether maternity leave policies have a causal effect on women's mental health in old age. We link data for women aged 50 and above from eight countries in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) to data on maternity leave legislation from 1960 to 2010. Using a difference-in-differences approach, our preferred specification suggests that moving from a maternity leave with limited coverage to one with comprehensive coverage around the birth of a first child reduces late life depression scores by 14%.

Keywords: Maternity leave, depression, policy evaluation

JEL Classification: J08, J13, J14, I18

Suggested Citation

Avendano, Mauricio and Berkman, Lisa and Brugiavini, Agar and Pasini, Giacomo, The Long-Run Effect of Maternity Leave Benefits on Mental Health: Evidence from European Countries (May 12, 2014). Netspar Discussion Paper No. 05/2014-015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2436913 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2436913

Mauricio Avendano

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Lisa Berkman

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Agar Brugiavini

Ca Foscari University of Venice - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy

Giacomo Pasini (Contact Author)

Ca' Foscari University Venice ( email )

Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy
+39 041 234 9171 (Phone)
+39 041 2349176 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://venus.unive.it/pasinigi

Netspar ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.netspar.nl/people/researchfellows/pasini/

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