Maternity Leave and Children's Cognitive and Behavioral Development
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.
We have benefited from comments from Josh Angrist and seminar participants at the 2011 AEA meetings, UC Davis, Laval, Manitoba, Stavanger, Texas, W.E. Upjohn and Waterloo. We gratefully acknowledge the research support of SSHRC (Baker Grant, #410-2008-0346, Milligan Grant #410-2006-0928). We thank the staffs of the Toronto and B.C. Research Data Centres for their technical support. This paper represents the views of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the views of Statistics Canada or the National Bureau of Economic Research.
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