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Women, work, and motherhood: changing employment penalties for motherhood in West Germany after 1945 - a comparative analysis of cohorts born in 1934-1971

  • Stefan Bender
  • Annette Kohlmann

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

  • Stefan Lang
Registered author(s):

    This paper deals with the effects of entry into motherhood on women’s employment dynamics. Our analysis is based on the complete lifetime working- and income histories of a 1% sample of all persons born between 1934 and 1971 and employed in West Germany sometime between 1975 and 1995. We use the records of women who were employed before the birth of their first child. We apply a semi-parametric hierarchical Bayesian modeling approach simultaneously including several time scales and further covariates whose effects we estimate by MCMC techniques. We investigate short-term consequences of entry into motherhood and their changes over different birth cohorts and thereby take into account the employment histories before the birth of the first child. We conduct two models differentiating between the simple return to the labor market and the return for at least a certain period in order to measure subsequent employment stability. Our results indicate that a higher extent of employment experience, a stronger attachment to the labor market and an employment in white collar jobs reduces the employment penalty for mothers after the birth of their first child.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2003-006.pdf
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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2003-006.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2003-006
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. Gustafsson, Siv S, et al, 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 223-46, August.
    2. Mayer, Jochen & Riphahn, Regina T., 1999. "Fertility Assimilation of Immigrants: Evidence from Count Data Models," IZA Discussion Papers 52, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. 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.
    4. Ondrich, Jan & Spiess, C Katharina & Yang, Qing, 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 247-66, August.
    5. 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, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
    6. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
    7. Yoshio Higuchi & Jane Waldfogel & Masahiro Abe, 1999. "Family leave policies and women's retention after childbirth: Evidence from the United States, Britain, and Japan," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(4), pages 523-545.
    8. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:41-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Even, William E, 1987. "Career Interruptions Following Childbirth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(2), pages 255-77, April.
    11. Ludwig Fahrmeir & Stefan Lang, 2001. "Bayesian Semiparametric Regression Analysis of Multicategorical Time-Space Data," Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 11-30, March.
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