The effects of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act on female labor supply

Sankar Mukhopadhyay, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

This dissertation analyzes the effect of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) on the labor force participation rates of married women with children. This Act required employers to treat pregnancy in the same way as a temporary disability. The effect of the PDA is assessed using two different estimation approaches. The first is a difference-in-difference analysis in which women without children serve as a control group. The results indicate that the legislation significantly increased the labor force participation of women with young children by around 9.4%. The second approach develops and structurally estimates a dynamic model of labor force participation. The model is used to assess the impact of the PDA as well as some of the other existing explanations. I also use the estimated model to simulate the impact of alternative forms of legislation found in other countries such as different lengths of maternity leave and different amounts of maternity benefits.

Subject Area

Labor economics

Recommended Citation

Mukhopadhyay, Sankar, "The effects of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act on female labor supply" (2005). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3179779.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3179779

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