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Sick leave before, during and after pregnancy




Using registry data on every employed Norwegian woman giving birth to her first child during the period 1995-2008, we describe patterns of certified and paid sick leave before, during and after pregnancy. By following the same women over time, we can explore how observed sick leave patterns are - or are not - related to the women's exiting (or reentering) employment. The results show that sick leave increases abruptly in the month of conception, and continues to grow throughout the term of pregnancy. Sick leave during pregnancy has been rising substantially compared with pre-pregnancy levels over the period 1995-2008, but this increase seems unrelated to women's growing age at first birth. In line with hypotheses of women's "double burden", observed sick leave rates increase in the years after birth. However, when we handle some obvious selection issues - like sick leave during a succeeding pregnancy - the increase in women's sick leave in the years after birth dissolves. Overall, we find little, if any, sign of the relevance of "double burden" hypotheses in explaining the excessive sick leave of women compared with men.

Suggested Citation

  • Karsten Marshall Elseth Rieck & Kjetil Telle, 2012. "Sick leave before, during and after pregnancy," Discussion Papers 690, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:690

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marit Rønsen & Ragni Hege Kitterød, 2012. "Entry into work following childbirth among mothers in Norway. Recent trends and variation," Discussion Papers 702, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    2. Markussen, Simen & Strøm, Marte, 2015. "The Effects of Motherhood," Memorandum 19/2015, Oslo University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    sick leave; pregnancy; female employment; double burden.;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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