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The Liberalization of Maternity Leave Policy and the Return to Work after Childbirth in Germany

Author

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  • Jan Ondrich

    ()

  • C. Spiess
  • Qing Yang
  • Gert Wagner

Abstract

German federal law has increased the potential duration of maternity leave five times since 1985. A theoretical model demonstrates that the cumulative return probability at potential duration cannot decline unless the mother's employment conditions or career expectations change. We estimate return to work hazards from the German Socio-Economic Panel for women bearing children in the period 1984–1991 and predict cumulative return probabilities for first-time mothers and mothers with a previous birth. The pattern of cumulative return probabilities as potential duration increases is consistent with the hypothesis that employment conditions or career expectations frequently change for mothers taking longer leaves. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Ondrich & C. Spiess & Qing Yang & Gert Wagner, 2003. "The Liberalization of Maternity Leave Policy and the Return to Work after Childbirth in Germany," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 77-110, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:1:y:2003:i:1:p:77-110
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1021851531667
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance and Unemployment Spells," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 757-782, July.
    2. 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;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 223-246.
    3. David Blau & Philip Robins, 1991. "Child care demand and labor supply of young mothers over time," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 28(3), pages 333-351, August.
    4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
    5. Klerman, Jacob Alex & Leibowitz, Arleen, 1990. "Child Care and Women's Return to Work after Childbirth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 284-288, May.
    6. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-1441, November.
    7. Arleen Leibowitz & Jacob Alex Klerman & Linda J. Waite, 1992. "Employment of New Mothers and Child Care Choice: Differences by Children's Age," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 112-133.
    8. Christopher J. Ruhm & Jackqueline L. Teague, 1995. "Parental Leave Policies in Europe and North America," NBER Working Papers 5065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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