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Postponement of Maternity and the Duration of Time Spent at Home after First Birth: Panel Data Analyses Comparing Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden


  • Siv S. Gustafsson
  • Eiko Kenjoh
  • Cécile M. M. P. Wetzels


This paper analyses the postponement of first births of the 1990s compared to the 1980s, using panel data from four countries, namely, Germany (GSOEP), Great Britain (BHPS), the Netherlands (OSA) and Sweden (HUS). We find substantial postponement of maternity in all four countries for all educational groups with the most pronounced postponement among highly educated women in all four countries. However the mean age of the mother when giving birth to the first child reamained the lowest in Great among the four countries in both decades.Theoretically we can distinguish two motives for postponing maternity, namely, the consumptionsmoothing motive and the career-planning motive. In this paper we concentrate on an important determinant of the maternal time costs: the time spent out of paid employment.We make use of longitudinal information about the number of months elapsed since first birth until the mother is observed working in the labour market. We estimate parametric duration ... Ce papier analyse le recul des premières naissances de 1990 avec celles de 1980 en utilisant des panels de données de quatre pays, soit, l’Allemagne (GSOEP), la Grande Bretagne (BHPS), les Pays-Bas (OSA) et la Suède (HUS). Nous trouvons un recul important de la maternité dans ces quatre pays, pour tous les groupes d’éducation avec un recul prononcé parmi les femmes ayant suivi des hautes études. Toutefois, la moyenne d’âge de la mère à la naissance du premier enfant était le plus bas en Grande Bretagne, à la fois en 1980 et en 1990.Théoriquement, on peut distinguer deux raisons de différer une maternité : le maintien du niveau de consommation et un plan de carrière. Dans cette étude, nous nous concentrerons sur un point déterminant les coûts engendrés par une maternité : le temps passé hors du marché de l’emploi.Nous utilisons des informations longitudinales sur le nombre de mois écoulés entre la première naissance et le retour de la mère sur le marché de l’emploi. Nous estimons ...

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  • Siv S. Gustafsson & Eiko Kenjoh & Cécile M. M. P. Wetzels, 2002. "Postponement of Maternity and the Duration of Time Spent at Home after First Birth: Panel Data Analyses Comparing Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 59, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:elsaaa:59-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Del Boca, Daniela & Locatelli, Marilena, 2006. "The Determinants of Motherhood and Work Status: A Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 2414, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Chad Steinberg & Masato Nakane, 2012. "Can Women Save Japan?," IMF Working Papers 12/248, International Monetary Fund.

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