Date of Award

8-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Economics

Committee Member

Curtis Simon, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Devon Gorry

Committee Member

Babur De Los Santos

Abstract

This study reproduces and extends the work of Tanya Byker (2016). Her findings on the positive effect of paid family leave on labor-force participation and employment as well as the negative effect on unemployment are reproduced and extended across a further range of time periods. The evidence presented in this paper supports her hypothesis that paid family leave indeed has the potential to increase the labor-force participation of women in the months surrounding childbirth, especially for women without college degrees. Testing robustness of estimates to weighting yields similar patterns of labor-market outcomes for both weighted and unweighted regressions.

Extension of Byker's regressions to mothers of different occupational groups reveals differential effects of paid leave policy. While analysis women in management occupations as well as women in office and administrative support roles yields estimates mirroring those of the full sample, analysis of women in education, training, and library occupations reveals contrary effects of paid family leave policy. These results suggest that occupation is an important factor in determining the effect of paid family leave policy on labor-market outcomes.

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