Do companies suffer by offering paid parental leave? These economists believe they’ve found an answer

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Denmark’s paid parental leave laws give mothers four weeks of wage replacement before birth and 14 weeks after that. They then have an additional 32 weeks, which they can split with the father, though past research showed mothers typically took most of the time.

There’s little research on the effects for companies, the authors said, despite analysis on the benefits to babies and families when parents have paid time off. For example, some past studies have shown paid leave in California is associated with higher breast-feeding rates and fewer infant hospitalizations.

Meanwhile, a study that analyzed tax data between 2001 and 2015 released this month by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which advocates for more women’s rights at home and in workplace, found that in California and New Jersey — two states with paid family leave — 20% fewer women left their jobs in the first year after pregnancy, and approximately 50% fewer first-time mothers left their job after five years.

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