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Employment After Motherhood: A European Comparison

  • Maria Gutierrez-Domenech
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    There is theoretical evidence that economic and family policies have an important impact on mother's employment. The aim of this article is to study empirically the women's transitions from employment to non-employment after they have their first birth in Belgium, West-Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden. The paper investigates the evolution of post-birth employment across time and how these shifts are related to - cross-country - different policies and society. We also test if the withdrawal from work is due to marriage or to motherhood. Results show that Spain and West-Germany are the countries with the lowest rates of staying on in the labour market after childbearing. Higher education is a key explanatory factor of the probability of post-birth employment in all countries, except for Sweden. In the period 1973-93, Belgian and especially Spanish mothers increased their probability of post-birth employment, ceteris paribus. The opposite movement occurred in West-Germany. Italy and Sweden remained fairly constant. This trend is mainly explained by the taxation system (joint vs. separate), education and part-time employment.

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    Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0567.

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    Date of creation: May 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0567
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    1. Adam, Paula, 1996. "Mothers in an Insider-Outsider Economy: The Puzzle of Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 301-23, August.
    2. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2010. "Fertility, Female Labor Supply and Public Policy," Working Papers id:2754, eSocialSciences.
    3. C. Katharina Spiess & Jan Ondrich & Qing Yang, 1996. "Barefoot and in a German kitchen: Federal parental leave and benefit policy and the return to work after childbirth in Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 247-266.
    4. Dex, Shirley & Joshi, Heather & Macran, Susan, 1996. "Women's Employment Transitions Around Childbearing," CEPR Discussion Papers 1408, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, July.
    6. Del Boca, Daniela, 2002. "The Effect of Child Care and Part Time Opportunities on Participation and Fertility Decisions in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 427, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. 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, vol. 9(3), pages 223-246.
    8. Ronsen, Marit & Sundstrom, Marianne, 1996. "Maternal Employment in Scandinavia: A Comparison of the After-Birth Employment Activity of Norwegian and Swedish Women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 267-85, August.
    9. Marit RÃnsen & Marianne SundstrÃm, 1996. "Maternal employment in Scandinavia: A comparison of the after-birth employment activity of Norwegian and Swedish women," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 267-285.
    10. Paula Adam, 1996. "Mothers in an insider-outsider economy: The puzzle of Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 301-323.
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