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The effects of childbirth on women’s activity change and occupational mobility in Europe: Evidence from the European Community Household Panel


  • Chzhen, Yekaterina

    (University of York)


This paper uses comparable longitudinal data from the European Community Household Panel from 1994 to 2001 to examine the effects of recent childbirth on the relative risks of switching to part-time, inactivity or unemployment for full-time women, as well as the effect of switching from full-time time to part-time work on the risk of occupational downgrading, in 13 European countries. Once important human capital and workplace characteristics are controlled for, full-time female workers who gave birth in year t are the most likely to remain full-time the following year only in Denmark and Spain. Full-time women are more likely to switch to part-time work than to remain working full-time in the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and the UK, where female part-time rates are relatively high, but also in Italy, where part-time rates are generally low. At the same time, in Ireland, Italy, the UK and Finland, recent childbirth increases the probability of moving from full-time work to unemployment, while in the Netherlands, France, Italy, Greece, Germany, Austria, the UK and Finland, recent childbirth also increases the risk of switching to inactivity. Substantial evidence of occupational downgrading by skill and occupational hourly wage on switching from full-time to part-time work is found in the majority of the studied countries. Overall, downward occupational moves are substantially more likely amongst workers who switch from full-time to part-time work than amongst the working population at large, both for men and women.

Suggested Citation

  • Chzhen, Yekaterina, 2009. "The effects of childbirth on women’s activity change and occupational mobility in Europe: Evidence from the European Community Household Panel," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-12, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2009-12

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Verme, Paolo, 2009. "Happiness, Deprivation and the Alter Ego," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-18, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.

    More about this item


    women's labour supply ; occupational transitions ; childbirth ; europe;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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