Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback11 pages Free

In the early 1990s, both state and federal governments enacted maternity-leave legislation. The key provision of that legislation is that after a leave of a limited duration, the recent mother is guaranteed the right to return to her preleave employer at the same or equivalent position. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the authors correlate work status after childbirth with work status before pregnancy to estimate the prevalence, before the legislation, of returns to the preleave employer. Among women working full-time before the pregnancy, return to the prepregnancy employer was quite common. Sixty percent of women who worked full-time before the birth of a child continued to work for the same employer after the child was born. Furthermore, the labor market behavior of most of the remaining 40,016 suggests that maternity-leave legislation is unlikely to have a major effect on job continuity. Compared with all demographically similar women, however, new mothers have an excess probability of leaving their jobs.

Originally published in: Demography, v. 36, no. 2, May 1999, pp. 145–155.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.