OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers

  • Discontinued
This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected labour market and social policy studies prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language - English or French - with a summary in the other.


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

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 ...


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