Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

French Studies

Reader 1

Patrick Van Horn

Reader 2

Emilie Garrigou-Kempton

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2019 Quinn N Kemlage


The objective of generous maternity leave policies is to increase the opportunities available to women in the workplace through increased work-life flexibility These policies have been often examined as a labor supply issue as greater mobility in the suspension of professional activity allows a larger percentage of the female population to participate in the workforce. Where these policies are not present, women would otherwise tend to family duties and childrearing.The purpose of this paper is to analyze an alternative outcome of these policies: an effect on labor demand due to disincentives to hire women on the basis of propensity to take leave. Specifically, I will test whether or not there is a relationship between the hiring of women and the implementation of generous maternity leave policies in France. Using data from 2002 to 2017 for OECD countries and different definitions of maternity leave policies, I find evidence that generous maternity leave policies have a positive relationship with the labor force participation of women and therefore reject the hypothesis that generous maternity leave policies decrease female labor demand. Additionally, I perform regression analysis for the top 50% and bottom 50% wealthy countries within my sample to determine if access to resources augments the effect. Finally, back of the envelope calculations for France’s female labor force participation suggest how an increase or decrease in leave length for each policy would affect female labor demand.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.