Mothers in the Military: Effect of Maternity Leave Policy on Take-Up
Heissel, Jennifer A.
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The United States remains the only OECD nation without national paid maternity leave. This paper exploits changes in paid maternity leave offered by one of the United States’ largest employers, the U.S. Department of Defense. Since 2015, the Marine Corps has shifted their policy from six to 18 to 12 weeks. As expected, leave expansions increased leave duration while policy contractions decreased the amount of maternity leave taken by active-duty service members. In addition, we find the policy changes crowded out other forms of leave. That is, with an increase in maternity leave available, mothers in the military increased their amount of maternity leave and stopped supplementing with additional annual leaves as mothers in the six-week policy period had. Though all mothers used the full six weeks of leave in the early period, it is the less advantaged mothers–in the enlisted (worker) ranks, first-time, and single mothers–who disproportionately used more of the additional leave than officers (managers), experienced mothers, and married mothers. Our results highlight the importance of optimally sizing family leave policies, as well as provide evidence that the true cost of such programs may be lower than the mere number of weeks provided by additional maternity leave allowances.
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Bacolod, Marigee; Heissel, Jennifer A.; Laurita, Laura; Molloy, Matthew; Sullivan, Ryan (Duke University Press, 2022);This study exploits changes in paid maternity leave offered by one of the United States’ largest employers, the Department of Defense, to estimate the effect of such policies on mothers' leave-taking. Since 2015, the U.S. ...
Bacolod, Marigee; Heissel, Jennifer A.; Laurita, Laura; Molloy, Matthew; Sullivan, Ryan (Naval Postgraduate School, 2021-08);The United States remains the only OECD nation without national paid maternity leave. This paper exploits changes in paid maternity leave offered by one of its largest employers, the U.S. Department of Defense. Since 2015, ...
Laurita, Laura; Molloy, Matthew (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2019-03);The United States has no federal mandates for paid family leave (PFL), an unusual standing among the world’s developed countries. Recent Department of Defense (DoD) policy initiatives have expanded paid maternity and family ...