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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 4 No. 3 (July 2012)

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Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage and Children's Long-Term Outcomes

Article Citation

Dustmann, Christian, and Uta Schönberg. 2012. "Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage and Children's Long-Term Outcomes." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 4(3): 190-224.

DOI: 10.1257/app.4.3.190

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact of three major expansions in maternity leave coverage in Germany on children's long-run outcomes. To identify the causal impact of the reforms, we use a difference-indifference design that compares outcomes of children born shortly before and shortly after a change in maternity leave legislation in years of policy changes, and in years when no changes have taken place. We find no support for the hypothesis that the expansions in leave coverage improved children's outcomes, despite a strong impact on mothers' return to work behavior after childbirth. (JEL J13, J16, J22, J32)

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Authors

Dustmann, Christian (U College London)
Schönberg, Uta (U College London)

JEL Classifications

J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
J22: Time Allocation and Labor Supply
J32: Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Private Pensions

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