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The effect of prenatal maternity leave on short and long-term child outcomes

Alexander Ahammer (), Martin Halla () and Nicole Schneeweis ()

Journal of Health Economics, 2020, vol. 70, issue C

Abstract: Maternity leave policies are designed to safeguard the health of pregnant workers and their unborn children. We evaluate a maternity leave extension in Austria which increased mandatory prenatal leave from 6 to 8 weeks. We exploit that the assignment to the extended leave was determined by a cutoff date. We find no evidence for significant effects of this extension on children's health at birth or long-term health and labor market outcomes. Subsequent maternal health and fertility are also unaffected. We conclude that employment during the 33rd and 34th week of gestation is not harmful for expecting mothers (without major problems in pregnancy) and their unborn children.

Keywords: Maternity leave; Fetal origins hypothesis; Infant health; Birth outcomes; Birth weight; Long-term child outcomes; Fertility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I13 I18 J13 J28 J83 J88 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Related works:
Working Paper: The Effect of Prenatal Maternity Leave on Short and Long-Term Child Outcomes (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The Effect of Prenatal Maternity Leave on Short and Long-term Child Outcomes (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The Effect of Prenatal Maternity Leave on Short and Long-term Child Outcomes Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:70:y:2020:i:c:s0167629619300773

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2019.102250

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Journal of Health Economics is currently edited by J. P. Newhouse, A. J. Culyer, R. Frank, K. Claxton and T. McGuire

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