NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Maternity Leave and Children's Cognitive and Behavioral Development

Michael Baker, Kevin S. Milligan

NBER Working Paper No. 17105
Issued in June 2011
NBER Program(s):   CH

We investigate the impact of maternity leave on the cognitive and behavioral development of children at ages 4 and 5, following up previous research on these children at younger ages. The impact is identified by legislated increases in the duration of maternity leave in Canada, which significantly increased the amount of first-year maternal care. Our results indicate no positive effect on indices of children's cognitive and behavioral development. We uncover a small negative impact on cognitive scores, which may indicate the timing of the mother/child separation due to the mother's return to work plays a role.

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This paper was revised on August 22, 2014

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w17105

Published: Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2015. "Maternity leave and children’s cognitive and behavioral development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 373-391, April. citation courtesy of

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