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Maternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates

TitleMaternal employment, breastfeeding, and health: Evidence from maternity leave mandates
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBaker, M., and Milligan K.
JournalJournal of Health Economics
Volume27
Pages871 - 887
Date PublishedJuly
Keywordsbreastfeeding, child health, maternal employment, maternity leave
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. We also look for impacts of the reform on self-reported indicators of maternal and child health captured in our data. For most indicators we find no effect.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhealeco.2008.02.006
Document URLhttp://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/s0167629608000131