Parental Leave Policies and Parents' Employment and Leave-Taking

Christopher Ruhm, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Jane Waldfogel, Columbia University

Utilizing data from the June Current Population Survey (CPS) Fertility Supplement merged with data from other months of the CPS, we describe trends in parents’ employment and leave-taking in the months immediately after they have a new child and analyze the extent to which these behaviors are affected by parental leave policies. The period we examine – from 1988 to 2004 -- is one in which such policies were expanded at both the state and federal level, and we provide the first comprehensive evidence as to how these expansions affected employment and leave-taking for both mothers and fathers over this period. Our main finding is that leave expansions substantially increased leave-taking by new mothers but had little impact on fathers.

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Presented in Session 53: Work and Family