View all Articles
Commentary By Robert VerBruggen

Is Parental Leave to Blame for the Gender Wage Gap?

Economics, Economics Employment

Is parental leave backfiring? One reason for the policy is to keep women attached to their jobs after giving birth, so they can take some time off but then return a bit later. Under federal law, all parents of both genders are entitled to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and some states have been giving paid leave as well.

Things could actually work in the opposite way, however. Women are more likely than men to take leave when it’s available. Employers might decline to hire them to avoid having to deal with long absences, the time off might set women behind at work or establish expectations at home that they’ll take the dominant role in child care, and some women, heaven forbid, might decide they enjoy being full-time moms.

Continue reading the entire piece here at the Institute for Family Studies


Robert VerBruggen is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here.

Photo by hyejin kang/ iStock