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Maternity leave and children's cognitive and behavioral development

TitleMaternity leave and children's cognitive and behavioral development
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsBaker, M., and Milligan K.
JournalJournal of Population Economics
Pages373 - 391
Date PublishedApril
Keywordschild development, children, cognitive development, maternity leave

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 PPVT scores.