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First Time Parents’ Paid Work Patterns in Amsterdam: Father’s Part-Time Work, Family’s Immigrant Background and Mother’s Work for Pay When the Infant Is Very Young

Listed author(s):
  • Wetzels, Cécile


    (University of Amsterdam)

We analyze first time parents’ work patterns. Little empirical work exists on the influence of the partner’s (change of) employment status. There is no study known to us that investigates the effects of the family’s immigrant background. This study explores both issues in addition to the effects of human capital, the mother’s partner not sharing the household, the women’s breastfeeding intentions and practices. We use panel data of 2003-2004 on families in Amsterdam at early pregnancy and at the time the infant is 3-5 months (when the Dutch family has to “choose” its paid parental work arrangement). Fathers do change their working hours after the birth of the first child. Only the father’s reduction of working for pay, to 25-32 hours per week after the birth of the first child, makes it more likely that the mother starts work when the infant is 3-5 months old. Furthermore, being a female, first generation immigrant has an independent – negative – effect, beyond human capital and other family characteristics, on the decision to work when pregnant and when the infant is 3-5 months old. Similarly, a partner born abroad has an independent, negative effect on the Dutch born – with Dutch born parents – mother’s timing of her return to work. Dutch social policies seem to some extent successful in obtaining the sharing of parental unpaid infant care. Yet, they created by stressing own responsibility only an opportunity and potential benefits for children and parents for those families who can (and dare to) afford.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2853.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2853
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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. George J. Borjas, 2006. "Native Internal Migration and the Labor Market Impact of Immigration," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
  2. Russo, Giovanni & Hassink, Wolter, 2005. "The Part-Time Wage Penalty: A Career Perspective," IZA Discussion Papers 1468, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Cécile Wetzels & Kea Tijdens, 2002. "Dutch mothers' return to work and the re-entry effect on wage," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 45(2), pages 169-189.
  4. Cecile Wetzels, 2005. "Supply and Price of Childcare and Female Labour Force Participation in the Netherlands," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 171-209, December.
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