Paid Maternity Leave and Female Employment: Evidence Using Firm-Level Survey Data for Developing Countries

45 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2019 Last revised: 25 Jan 2019

See all articles by Mohammad Amin

Mohammad Amin

World Bank - Enterprise Analysis Unit

Asif Islam

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC)

Date Written: January 23, 2019

Abstract

The relationship between the length of paid maternity leave and the proportion of female workers in the private sector is explored using firm-level survey data for 66 mostly developing countries. The paper finds a large, positive, and statistically significant relationship between the two. According to the most conservative estimate, an increase of one week of paid maternity leave is associated with a 2.6 percentage points increase in the share of workers in a typical firm that are female. As expected, the stated relationship is much larger when the government pays for maternity leave versus the employer. The results are robust to several controls for firm and country characteristics and other possible heterogeneities in the maternity leave and female workers relationship.

Suggested Citation

Amin, Mohammad and Islam, Asif Mohammed, Paid Maternity Leave and Female Employment: Evidence Using Firm-Level Survey Data for Developing Countries (January 23, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8715. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3321507

Mohammad Amin (Contact Author)

World Bank - Enterprise Analysis Unit ( email )

2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Asif Mohammed Islam

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC) ( email )

1818 H Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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