The potential impact of paid family leave policy on the economic and health outcomes of Louisiana mothers
This thesis investigates the potential impact of paid family leave policy on mothers’ economic and health outcomes in Louisiana. While existing research offers evidence of paid family leave policies’ impact on labor market and health outcomes in states with existing paid leave policies, this work seeks to offer predictions of how a paid family leave policy could impact women in Louisiana. Chapter One outlines the current paid family leave policy landscape in Louisiana and the nation as a whole, highlighting bipartisan support for paid family leave policies, inadequacies in current parental leave offerings, and current health and economic inequities faced by mothers in Louisiana, providing a rationale for the thesis. Chapter Two presents the reader with a review of the existing literature on the promising effects of parental leave policies on three different outcomes: leave-taking patterns, maternal economic outcomes, and maternal health outcomes. Chapter Three offers predictions of how a state-level paid family leave policy will impact leave-taking patterns, employment, wages, and physical and mental health outcomes for mothers in Louisiana. The thesis concludes by asserting the potential for a paid family leave policy to improve both economic and health outcomes for mothers in Louisiana, and offering suggestions for how such a policy can best be shaped to maximize its positive impact on women in Louisiana.