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The Employment of Married Mothers in Great Britain: 1974-2000

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  • Paul Gregg
  • Maria Gutierrez-Domenech
  • Jane Waldfogel

Abstract

This paper analyses the increase in mothers¿ employment in Britain over the period 1974¿2000. The approach consists of isolating those birth cohorts whose mothers experienced significant increases in employment and relating those to changes in policies (maternity rights, taxation and childcare). The results suggest that maternity rights have induced a change in behaviour, toward returning to work in the first year post-birth, among many mothers who would have otherwise gone back to work when their children were age 3 to 5. This effect has been most marked among better-educated and higher paid mothers and has strengthened as real wages have risen through time. However, the paper also suggests that the increased labour market experience and job tenure of mothers as a result of maternity rights legislation has only had a very modest impact on earnings. This is as a result of most of the extra experience being part-time which has very low returns.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0596.

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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0596

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

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Keywords: married womens employment; maternity policies;

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References

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  1. Machin, Stephen, 1996. "Wage Inequality in the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 47-64, Spring.
  2. Simon Burgess & Paul Gregg & Carol Propper & Elizabeth Washbrook & ALSPAC Study Team, 2002. "Maternity Rights and Mothers' Return to Work," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 02/055, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  3. Stephen Nickell & Tracy Jones & Glenda Quintini, 2000. "A picture of job insecurity facing British men," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20141, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Gregory, Mary & Jukes, Robert, 2001. "Unemployment and Subsequent Earnings: Estimating Scarring among British Men 1984-94," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(475), pages F607-25, November.
  5. Mike Brewer, 2001. "Comparing in-work benefits and the reward to work for families with children in the US and the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 41-77, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Maya Rossin-Slater & Christopher J. Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2011. "The Effects of California’s Paid Family Leave Program on Mothers’ Leave-Taking and Subsequent Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 17715, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Barbara Hanel & Regina T. Riphahn, 2012. "The Employment of Mothers – Recent Developments and their Determinants in East and West Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 232(2), pages 146-176, March.
  3. Wendy Sigle-Rushton, 2008. "England and Wales: Stable fertility and pronounced social status differences," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(15), pages 455-502, July.
  4. Benito, Andrew & Bunn, Philip, 2011. "Understanding labour force participation in the United Kingdom," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 51(1), pages 36-42.
  5. Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel & Elizabeth Washbrook, 2009. "Public Policies and Women's Employment after Childbearing," NBER Working Papers 14660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Davia, María A. & Legazpe, Nuria, 2012. "Decisiones laborales de las mujeres casadas o cohabitantes en España/Employment Decisions of Married or Cohabiting Women in Spain," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 30, pages 1065 (22pag, Diciembre.
  7. Chzhen, Yekaterina & Mumford, Karen A. & Nicodemo, Catia, 2012. "The Gender Pay Gap in the Australian Private Sector: Is Selection Relevant across the Wage Distribution?," IZA Discussion Papers 6558, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2008. "Accommodating Families," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2008-004, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.

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