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Motherhood, family policy, education, and careers in Germany, the US, and Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI).
2011 (English)In: Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, ISSN 0023-2653, E-ISSN 1861-891X, Vol. 63, no 3, 395-430 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article compares the duration of and consequences for employment interruptions for mothers with distinct educational qualifications in cross-national perspective. We analyze the duration of mothers' employment interruption and the relative quality of the job after childbirth, for high and low qualified mothers in Germany, Sweden, and the United States. Analyses are based on harmonized national longitudinal data sets (GLHS-West, NLSY, LNU), which allow us to study mothers' careers over the past 30-35 years. We apply event-history analysis to study how long mothers with distinct educational levels interrupt employment after childbirth, and how the patterns of return to work differ with respect to mothers' educational level. In all three countries the highly educated display a greater labor market attachment. In the US, almost half of the mothers with some college background, compared to only a quarter of high-school dropouts stay employed continuously after childbirth. In Sweden, basically all mothers take time-out for at least half a year. In Germany, 25% of mothers with university entrance qualification do not claim parental leave. In Germany and Sweden consequences of leave extensions seem to operate independent of mothers' educational levels. In the U. S. medium and highly educated mothers tend to return more slowly after the enactment of the FMLA.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 63, no 3, 395-430 p.
Keyword [en]
Occupational mobility, Mothers, Employment career, Life course, International comparison, Event history analysis
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-67264DOI: 10.1007/s11577-011-0139-0ISI: 000295892000002OAI: diva2:471445
authorCount :3Available from: 2012-01-02 Created: 2011-12-27 Last updated: 2012-01-02Bibliographically approved

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Evertsson, Marie
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The Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)
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