Impact of Chilean Maternity-Leave Expansion on Female Labor Market Outcomes and Gender Discrimination

Luis Faundez , University of Illinois at Chicago

This paper uses a policy change in Chile, which in 2011 increased the paid maternity leave period from 18 weeks to 30 weeks, to study its impact on mothers of young children labor market attachment, and if this policy has any additional impact on labor market discrimination against women. Using a difference-in-differences approach, I find robust evidence that the aforementioned policy increased labor market attachment of mothers of infants. However, this policy seems to have had an unintended effect: it reduced labor force participation of women of childbearing age by 3 percentage points and their employment by 2.4 percentage points, while it had no effect on the gender pay gap.

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 Presented in Session 175. Gender, Work, and Family: Assessing Policy Effects