Barefoot and in a German kitchen: Federal parental leave and benefit policy and the return to work after childbirth in Germany

Jan Ondrich, C. Katharina Spiess, Qing Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since 1979 German federal maternity leave and benefit policy has given women incentives to stay at home and take care of their newborn and youngest children. In 1986 this leave and benefit policy was changed in several ways, turning it into a powerful instrument for delaying mothers' return to work after childbirth. Using a flexible duration dependence estimation technique for proportional hazards due to Prentice and Gloeckler (1978) and applied to grouped durations by Meyer (1987, 1990), we estimate post childbirth return to work hazards for women during the federally protected leave protection period and immediately upon completion of this leave period. During the leave mothers are less likely to return to work the longer is the time left in the leave protection period; however, this result cannot be attributed generally to high levels of maternity benefits. When the leave protection period ends, mothers with strong labor force attachment who are still on leave return to their jobs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-266
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Population Economics
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1996

Keywords

  • Childbirth
  • Labor force participation
  • Maternity leave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Economics and Econometrics

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