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Does the IABS reliably identify maternity leave taking?


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  • Schönberg, Uta

    (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])


"The data set that researchers have used most often to study career interruptions due to childbirth in the German context is the German Socioeconomic Panel. An alternative data source is the much larger IAB Employment Sample (IABS). Although this data set does not include direct information on childbirth, mothers on maternity leave can potentially be identified. There are, however, two problems. First, the leave variable in the IABS does not distinguish between maternity leave and other leave taking, such as sick leave. Second, the child's birth month has to be inferred from the month the mother goes on maternity leave, which is likely to lead to measurement error in the time the mother spends at home after childbirth. This paper investigates both problems, using an extended version of the IABS that supplements the social security records with direct information on childbirth from the German Pension Register. I find that for West German citizens, about 90% of leave spells are due to maternity leave. The child's birth month is correctly estimated for about 70%, and over- or underestimated by one month for about 25% of mothers. I conclude that the IABS 75-01 (as well as the latest weakly anonymous version at the FDZ) provides a valuable alternative data source to the GSOEP to study career interruptions due to childbirth, as long as the focus is on women who are attached to the labour market." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

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Paper provided by Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany] in its series FDZ Methodenreport with number 200803_en.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 28 Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as: "Does the IAB employment sample reliably identify maternity leave taking? A data report" in: Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung, Jg. 42, H. 1 (2009), p. 49-70
Handle: RePEc:iab:iabfme:200803_en

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Keywords: IAB-Beschäftigtenstichprobe; Mutterschaftsurlaub; Erziehungsurlaub; Elternzeit; Mütter; erwerbstätige Frauen; Erwerbsunterbrechung - Dauer; Urlaubsdauer; berufliche Reintegration; Datenqualität;

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  1. Weber, Andrea Maria, 2004. "Wann kehren junge Mütter auf den Arbeitsmarkt zurück? : eine Verweildaueranalyse für Deutschland," Publications of Darmstadt Technical University, Institute for Business Studies (BWL) 22617, Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute for Business Studies (BWL).
  2. Beblo, Miriam & Bender, Stefan & Wolf, Elke, 2006. "The wage effects of entering motherhood: a within-firm matching approach," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-53, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Schönberg, Uta & Ludsteck, Johannes, 2007. "Maternity Leave Legislation, Female Labor Supply, and the Family Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 2699, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Jan Dirk Vlasblom & Joop J. Schippers, 2003. "The dynamics of female employment around childbirth," Working Papers 03-10, Utrecht School of Economics.
  5. repec:iza:izadps:dp509 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Dustmann, Christian & Schönberg, Uta, 2008. "The Effect of Expansions in Maternity Leave Coverage on Children's Long-Term Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 3605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).


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