Parental leave policies and parents' employment and leave-taking

J Policy Anal Manage. 2009 Winter;28(1):29-54. doi: 10.1002/pam.20398.


We describe trends in maternal employment and leave-taking after birth of a newborn and analyze the extent to which these behaviors are influenced by parental leave policies. Data are from the June Current Population Survey (CPS) Fertility Supplements, merged with other months of the CPS, and cover the period 1987 to 1994. This time span is one during which parental leave legislation expanded at both the state and federal level. We also provide the first comprehensive examination of employment and leave-taking by fathers of infants. Our main finding is that leave expansions are associated with increased leave-taking by both mothers and fathers. The magnitudes of the changes are small in absolute terms but large relative to the baseline for men and much greater for college-educated or married mothers than for their less-educated or single counterparts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Educational Status
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Employment / trends
  • Fathers
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Health Policy / trends
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Mothers
  • Parental Leave / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Parental Leave / statistics & numerical data*
  • Parental Leave / trends
  • Parents
  • United States