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Return-to-job during and after maternity leave

Author

Listed:
  • Fitzenberger, Bernd
  • Steffes, Susanne
  • Strittmatter, Anthony

Abstract

This paper studies the return-to-job of female employees after first birth based on exceptional longitudinal data from personnel records of a large German company. Given a very long maternity leave coverage, we investigate to what extent data available to management allow to predict the return-to-job during and after maternity leave. Our data show a large heterogeneity in transition patterns, which poses a challenge for management. Maternity leave durations often last for three years or longer. More than 50 percent of those in maternity leave do not return to their job afterwards, either because they leave the company or because they have a second child. At the same time, about 31 percent of female employees return to part-time work during maternity leave, which is often a stepping stone but no guarantee for a return-to-job afterwards. There is mixed evidence as to whether female employees in better job matches are more likely to return to their job in the company. Specifically, we find that the relative wage position, higher tenure, a combination of vocational training and university education, and an above average frequency of previous promotions show a positive association with the return-to-job and a higher employment stability afterwards. At the same time, female employees have their first child, when their careers have been particularly successful in comparison. Among these, a sizeable share does not continue to advance their career and many do not even return to their job.

Suggested Citation

  • Fitzenberger, Bernd & Steffes, Susanne & Strittmatter, Anthony, 2010. "Return-to-job during and after maternity leave," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-103, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10103
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ammermüller, Andreas & Dolton, Peter J., 2006. "Pupil-teacher gender interaction effects on scholastic outcomes in England and the USA," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-060, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Erdsiek, Daniel, 2017. "Dynamics of overqualification: Evidence from the early career of graduates," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-020, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Biewen, Martin & Fitzenberger, Bernd & de Lazzer, Jakob, 2017. "Rising wage inequality in Germany: Increasing heterogeneity and changing selection into full-time work," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-048, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. repec:bla:obuest:v:79:y:2017:i:5:p:689-716 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Melanie Arntz & Stephan Dlugosz & Ralf A. Wilke, 2017. "The Sorting of Female Careers after First Birth: A Competing Risks Analysis of Maternity Leave Duration," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 79(5), pages 689-716, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    female employees; maternity leave; match quality; personnel data;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General

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