Purna Banerjee
Shreya Biswas
BITS Pilani
Debojyoti Mazumder
Working Paper
JEL Codes:
J13, J16, J18, J23, J64
● Maternity Leave and Labour Market Outcomes
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This paper examines gendered labour market consequences of maternity leave and related legislation, across age profiles. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, on individual level panel data, we estimate the effect of an amendment in Indias maternity leave legislation on employment and wages of women in the high-fertility age group. Against this background, we then construct a stylized micro-founded model of the labour market in a life-cycle search and matching framework. This model explores the effects of a maternity shock on differential outcomes for men and women of different age, with and without policy intervention. Our empirical and theoretical analysis provides robust evidence that women in the high fertility age group experience adverse effects in the labour market, that are exacerbated in the presence of mandated maternity leave policies. Our findings underscore the fact that policy design must be cognizant of underlying labour market dynamics if they are to prevent further widening of existing gender gaps in labour market outcomes.

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