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Does It Pay to Be a Woman?: Labour Demand Effects of Maternity-Related Job Protection and Replacement Incomes

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  • Beatrice Scheubel
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    In countries with strong employment protection laws it is often considered to be unwise to hire a woman in childbearing age because she might get pregnant. However, such labour demand e ects of job protection measures related to maternity leave are often rather anecdotal. To provide analytical evidence, this paper studies the impact of changes in maternity-related job protection in Germany on employment opportunities for women in childbearing age without children for whom the observed e ects should be largely demand-related. Exogenous, discrete policy changes in the German labour market of the 1980s and 1990s constitute the setting for a difference-in-differences analysis of the transition into employment as well as wages. The data for this study are taken from the German Socio-Economic Panel and from the German Microcensus. Doubling the job-protected leave period from 6 months to 12 months between 1986 and 1988 led to an approximately 6% lower probability of being hired for women in childbearing age without a university degree.In addition, I nd a 5-10% increase in wages for women in childbearing age associated with the latter reform. Since this effect disappears when controlling for having a child in the future, this may indicate an increased need to signal commitment by increased effort after the reform.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.482308.de/diw_sp0685.pdf
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    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 685.

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    Length: 41 p.
    Date of creation: 2014
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp685
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