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


This paper analyses the increase in mothers' employment in Britain over 1974-2000 using the General Household Survey. We isolated those birth cohorts whose mothers experienced significant increases in employment and compared those increases to changes in policies. The results suggest that maternity rights have had a profound effect on employment, but this effect varies by the wage opportunities of mothers. Maternity rights have induced a behaviour change in when mothers return to work. Many who previously would not have gone back to work until their children were age 3-5 are now returning to work within the first year. This effect has been most marked among better educated and higher paid mothers. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2007.

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Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 74 (2007)
Issue (Month): 296 (November)
Pages: 842-864

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:74:y:2007:i:296:p:842-864
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  1. Stephen Nickell & Patricia Jones & Glenda Quintini, 2002. "A Picture of Job Insecurity Facing British Men," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 1-27, January.
  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. Machin, Stephen, 1996. "Wage Inequality in the UK," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 47-64, Spring.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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