Maternity Leave, Early Maternal Employment and Child Health and Development in the US

19 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2005  

Lawrence M. Berger

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty and School of Soical Work

Jennifer Hill

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

Jane Waldfogel

Columbia University - School of Social Work

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Berger, Lawrence M. and Hill, Jennifer and Waldfogel, Jane, Maternity Leave, Early Maternal Employment and Child Health and Development in the US. Economic Journal, Vol. 115, No. 501, pp. F29-F47, February 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=654829

Lawrence M. Berger (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin-Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty and School of Soical Work ( email )

Madison, WI 53706
United States

Jennifer Hill

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
212-854-4474 (Phone)

Jane Waldfogel

Columbia University - School of Social Work ( email )

622 W. 113th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States

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