Linda A. White


This Article tracks recent developments in maternity and parental leave benefits provision and early childhood education and care (ECEC) policies across five liberal welfare states, in order to highlight the variation between the United States and some of its closest comparators (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and United Kingdom) on policies designed to promote work-life balance and maternal labor market participation. The Article demonstrates that, while there is a great deal of fragmentation in liberal welfare states' maternity and parental leave and ECEC policies and programs, the United States stands out as an outlier in its failure to provide national paid parental leave. While governments in all liberal welfare states increasingly encourage economic self-sufficiency and adult labor market participation, other liberal welfare states display less resistance than the United States to the idea that motherhood should trigger benefits entitlements. This idea still induces strong resistance within the United States. The Article also examines reasons for the United States' continued outlier status.

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