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Employment After Motherhood: A European Comparison

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  • Maria Gutierrez-Domenech
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    Abstract

    There is theoretical evidence that economic and family policies have an important impact on mother's employment. The aim of this article is to study empirically the women's transitions from employment to non-employment after they have their first birth in Belgium, West-Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden. The paper investigates the evolution of post-birth employment across time and how these shifts are related to - cross-country - different policies and society. We also test if the withdrawal from work is due to marriage or to motherhood. Results show that Spain and West-Germany are the countries with the lowest rates of staying on in the labour market after childbearing. Higher education is a key explanatory factor of the probability of post-birth employment in all countries, except for Sweden. In the period 1973-93, Belgian and especially Spanish mothers increased their probability of post-birth employment, ceteris paribus. The opposite movement occurred in West-Germany. Italy and Sweden remained fairly constant. This trend is mainly explained by the taxation system (joint vs. separate), education and part-time employment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0567.

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    Date of creation: May 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0567

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    Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

    Related research

    Keywords: employment transitions; part-time work; motherhood; education;

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    References

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    1. Paula Adam, 1996. "Mothers in an insider-outsider economy: The puzzle of Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 301-323.
    2. Apps, Patricia & Rees, Ray, 2001. "Fertility, Female Labor Supply and Public Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 409, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
    4. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
    5. Ronsen, Marit & Sundstrom, Marianne, 1996. "Maternal Employment in Scandinavia: A Comparison of the After-Birth Employment Activity of Norwegian and Swedish Women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 267-85, August.
    6. C. Katharina Spiess & Jan Ondrich & Qing Yang, 1996. "Barefoot and in a German kitchen: Federal parental leave and benefit policy and the return to work after childbirth in Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 247-266.
    7. Siv S. Gustafsson & Shirley Dex & Cécile M. M. P. Wetzels & Jan Dirk Vlasblom, 1996. "Women`s labor force transitions in connection with childbirth: A panel data comparison between Germany, Sweden and Great Britain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 223-246.
    8. Marit RÃnsen & Marianne SundstrÃm, 1996. "Maternal employment in Scandinavia: A comparison of the after-birth employment activity of Norwegian and Swedish women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 267-285.
    9. Dex, Shirley & Joshi, Heather & Macran, Susan, 1996. "Women's Employment Transitions Around Childbearing," CEPR Discussion Papers 1408, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Adam, Paula, 1996. "Mothers in an Insider-Outsider Economy: The Puzzle of Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 301-23, August.
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