The effects of parental leave on child health and postnatal care: Evidence from Australia

Khanam, Rasheda, Nghiem, Son, & Connelly, Luke (2016) The effects of parental leave on child health and postnatal care: Evidence from Australia. Economic Analysis and Policy, 49, pp. 17-29.

[img] Accepted Version (PDF 385kB)
Administrators only until March 2019 | Request a copy from author

View at publisher


One of the arguments that is advanced in support of paid maternity leave policies is that the mother’s time away from work, around childbirth, is expected to improve child health and development. However the research evidence on these links is scarce and, until recently, little was known about the link, if any, between child health and parental leave in particular. Using an extended random effects estimator to control for selection bias and unobserved heterogeneity, we employ micro-level data from the Parental Leave in Australia Survey, which is a nested survey of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, to examine the effects of parental leave on measures of child health and the provision of health inputs to the child. We found that parental leave around childbirth was significantly associated with prolonged breastfeeding, up-to-date immunisation and other positive effects on some chronic health conditions such as asthma, bronchiolitis. For example, children of mothers who took an additional week of paid maternity leave have a lower probability of having asthma and bronchiolitis (1.1 and 0.5 percentage points less likely, respectively). They are also slightly more likely to be breastfed until one month and 6 months of age (2.1 and 0.6 percentage points, respectively).

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 96224
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Parental leave, Child health, Postnatal care, Australia
DOI: 10.1016/j.eap.2015.09.005
ISSN: 0313-5926
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Crown Copyright © 2015 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Economic Society of Australia, Queensland
Deposited On: 16 Jun 2016 23:38
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 06:01

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page