Maternity Leave and the Effectiveness of Female Labour Supply as Insurance

Thursday 16 May 2013, 1.15PM to 2.15pm

Speaker(s): Dr. Emma Tominey, University of York

Abstract: Female labour supply can insure households against shocks to paternal employment. The paper examines whether this mechanism is less effective if mothers' employment is not protected around childbirth. We exploit time-state variation in the implementation of unpaid maternity leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in the US. We find a negligible insurance response for mothers with no employment protection. Those eligible for FMLA on the other hand speed up their return to work in response to a paternal shock, with a conditional probability of being in work 70 percentage points higher than in households with no paternal shock. Female labour supply is a more effective insurance mechanism if mothers have employment protection during pregnancy.

Paper: Maternity Leave and the Effectiveness of Female Labour Supply as Insurance (PDF , 202kb)

Location: Economics Staff Room (EC/202)

Admission: Economics Thursday Workshop. For Staff and Postgraduate students