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Employment after childbearing: a comparative study of Italy and Norway

  • Magdalena M. Muszynska

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

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    In this study we look at the circumstances under which motherhood and employment are compatible. Comparing two countries, Italy and Norway, we analyze the impact of macro factors and individual characteristics on employment decisions of first- and second-time mothers. Our results show that in Norway, where flexible forms of employment are a popular way to reconcile family life and employment, not only many women start to work when their child is small, but the fertility is also relatively high. In Italy, characterized by high rigidities of the labor market and where flexible forms of employment are hardly available, relatively few mothers enter employment and fertility is low. In addition, we found that in both countries better educated women and women with more work experience return to their jobs relatively soon after childbirth. The majority of women with a low level of education and who did not work before the childbirth do not take up work when the child is small.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2004-030.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-2004-030.

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    Length: 37 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2004-030
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. 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.
    2. Dankmeyer, Ben, 1996. "Long Run Opportunity-Costs of Children According to Education of the Mother in the Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 349-61, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Namkee Ahn & Pedro Mira, . "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Studies on the Spanish Economy 13, FEDEA.
    5. Paula Adam, 1996. "Mothers in an insider-outsider economy: The puzzle of Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 301-323.
    6. Daniela del Boca & Marilena Locatelli & Silvia Pasqua, 2000. "Employment Decisions of Married Women: Evidence and Explanations," CHILD Working Papers wp08_00, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    7. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 76-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Pylkkänen, Elina & Smith, Nina, 2004. "Career Interruptions due to Parental Leave - A Comparative Study of Denmark and Sweden," Working Papers 04-1, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    9. Hotz, V Joseph & Miller, Robert A, 1988. "An Empirical Analysis of Life Cycle Fertility and Female Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 91-118, January.
    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. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polacheck, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 397-431 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Kea Tijdens, 2002. "Gender Roles and Labor Use Strategies: Women's Part-Time Work in the European Union," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 71-99.
    13. Dex, Shirley, et al, 1998. "Women's Employment Transitions around Child Bearing," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 60(1), pages 79-98, February.
    14. Di Tommaso, Maria Laura, 1999. "A Trivariate Model of Participation, Fertility and Wages: The Italian Case," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(5), pages 623-40, September.
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