The Impact of Paid Maternity Leave on Labour Market Outcomes

Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 19/12

Date: August 2012


Barbara Hanel


I estimate the effect of paid maternity leave on mothers probability of employment after birth, how this effect varies with the age of the child, and the effect on wages when the child is about four years old. A statistical matching approach is applied. The matching procedure controls for an extensive range of pre-birth job characteristics, health and human capital measures, and attitudes towards non-maternal care. Mothers appear to delay their return to work after a birth if they are entitled to paid maternity leave, but the delay is short and does not affect wages in the long-run.

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