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Combining marriage and children with paid work: changes across cohorts in Italy and Great Britain

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  • Solera, Cristina

Abstract

This paper compares Italy and Great Britain and uses event history data and methods to investigate changes across cohorts in the effect of family responsibilities on women’s transitions in and out of paid work. My findings show that women’s attachment to paid work has increased and that education and/or class has marked the divide, as predicted by human capital theory. However, the effects of marriage and motherhood are, ceteris paribus, stronger in a residualist-liberal welfare regime such as the British one. In Italy, where demand for labour is relatively low and gender role norms are quite traditional, reconciliation policies are weak but largely compensated by intergenerational and kinship solidarity, fewer women enter paid work, but when they do so, they interrupt less when becoming wives or mothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Solera, Cristina, 2008. "Combining marriage and children with paid work: changes across cohorts in Italy and Great Britain," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-22, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2008-22
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    File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2008-22.pdf
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    1. Joshi, Heather & Macran, Susan & Dex, Shirley, 1996. "Employment after Childbearing and Women's Subsequent Labour Force Participation: Evidence from the British 1958 Birth Cohort," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 325-348, August.
    2. Bettio, Francesca & Villa, Paola, 1998. "A Mediterranean Perspective on the Breakdown of the Relationship between Participation and Fertility," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 137-171, March.
    3. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
    4. Irene Bruegel & Diane Perrons, 1998. "Deregulation and Women's Employment: The Diverse Experiences of Women in Britain," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 103-125.
    5. Kreps, David M, 1997. "Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 359-364, May.
    6. Massimiliano Bratti & Emilia Del Bono & Daniela Vuri, 2005. "New Mothers' Labour Force Participation in Italy: The Role of Job Characteristics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 79-121, December.
    7. Mare, David C., 2006. "Constructing consistent work-life histories: a guide for users of the British Household Panel Survey," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-39, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    8. Chiara Pronzato, 2009. "Return to work after childbirth: does parental leave matter in Europe?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 341-360, December.
    9. Polachek, Solomon William, 1981. "Occupational Self-Selection: A Human Capital Approach to Sex Differences in Occupational Structure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(1), pages 60-69, February.
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