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

Alexander Ahammer, Martin Halla, Nicole Schneeweis

Publikation: Wissenschaftliche FachzeitschriftOriginalbeitrag in FachzeitschriftBegutachtung


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.
FachzeitschriftJournal of Health Economics
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2020
Extern publiziertJa