Maternal Employment, Breastfeeding, and Health: Evidence from Maternity Leave Mandates

48 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2007 Last revised: 16 Jul 2010

See all articles by Michael Baker

Michael Baker

University of Toronto - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Kevin S. Milligan

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

Public health agencies around the world have renewed efforts to increase the incidence and duration of breastfeeding. Maternity leave mandates present an economic policy that could help achieve these goals. We study their efficacy focusing on a significant increase in maternity leave mandates in Canada. We find very large increases in mothers' time away from work post-birth and in the attainment of critical breastfeeding duration thresholds. However, we find little impact on the self-reported indicators of maternal and child health captured in our data.

Suggested Citation

Baker, Michael and Milligan, Kevin S., Maternal Employment, Breastfeeding, and Health: Evidence from Maternity Leave Mandates (June 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13188. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=995698

Michael Baker (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Department of Economics ( email )

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Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G7
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Kevin S. Milligan

University of British Columbia (UBC) - Department of Economics ( email )

997-1873 East Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Canada

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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