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Maternity leave in turbulent times: effects on labor market transitions and fertility in Russia, 1985-2000

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  • Theodore P. Gerber
  • Brienna Perelli-Harris

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    Abstract

    Maternity leave policies are designed to ease the tension between women’s employment and fertility, but whether they actually play such a role remains unclear. We analyze the individual-level effects of maternity leave on employment outcomes and on second conception rates among Russian first-time mothers from 1985-2000 using retrospective job and fertility histories from the Survey of Stratification and Migration Dynamics in Russia. During this period Russia experienced tremendous economic and political turbulence, which many observers believed would undermine policies like maternity leave and otherwise adversely affect the situation of women. Nevertheless, we find that maternity leave helped women maintain a foothold in the labor market, especially during the more turbulent post-transition period. Also, women who took extended leave in connection with their first birth had elevated rates of second conceptions once they returned to the workforce.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-028.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2009-028.

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    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-028

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    Keywords: Russian Federation; employment; fertility; maternity leave;

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    1. Z. Khotkina, 2001. "Female Unemployment and Informal Employment in Russia," Problems of Economic Transition, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 43(9), pages 20-33, January.
    2. Jan M. Hoem & Alexia Prskawetz & Gerda R. Neyer, 2001. "Autonomy or conservative adjustment? The effect of public policies and educational attainment on third births in Austria," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2001-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1996. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," NBER Working Papers 5688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Gerda R. Neyer & Gunnar Andersson, 2007. "Consequences of family policies on childbearing behavior: effects or artifacts?," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2007-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Elizabeth Brainerd, 2000. "Women in transition: Changes in gender wage differentials in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 138-162, October.
    6. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
    7. Linz, S.J., 1993. "Gender Differences in the Russian Labour Market," Papers, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory 9208, Michigan State - Econometrics and Economic Theory.
    8. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
    9. Sergei Zakharov, 2008. "Russian Federation: From the first to second demographic transition," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(24), pages 907-972, July.
    10. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
    11. Brienna Perelli-Harris, 2006. "The Influence of Informal Work and Subjective Well-Being on Childbearing in Post-Soviet Russia," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., The Population Council, Inc., vol. 32(4), pages 729-753.
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