The time and the transitions back to work in France after maternity

  • Bruno RodriguesEmail author
  • Vincent VergnatEmail author


Previous studies have shown that childrearing has a different impact on a mother’s professional career, depending, among other reasons, on how much time passed from birth to return to work. In this paper, we use a competing risks model to determine which variables may explain time out of work, as well as the transition back to work for young mothers in France. In our study, mothers can decide to go back to the same employer, change a personal but also a professionalemployer and/or change labour supply. Our results show that it is mostly the age of the mothers at birth, their pre-birth wages, tenure, firm size as well as the state of the economy as a whole that play a large role in the way young mothers go back to work, if at all. This research highlights the key factors on which causal research should be based in order to advise firms and also policy-makers on how to influence mothers’ labour supply behaviors.


Post-natal Leave Labour Supply Competing Risks Administrative Data 

JEL classification

C41 D10 J13 



The authors wish to thank anonymous referees, Elena Stancanelli, Isabelle Terraz, Bertrand Koebel, Mathieu Lefebvre, François Legendre, François-Charles Wolff and Ralf Wilke for their helpful comments. This work is supported by public grants overseen by the French National Research Agency (ANR) as part of the “Investissements d’avenir” program (reference: ANR-10-EQPX-17—Centre d’accès sécurisé aux données—CASD) and the “FamPol” project (reference: ANR-10-EQPX-17). Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the organizations or services for which they work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bureau d’Economie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA), University of Strasbourg, CNRSStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Bureau d’Economie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA), University of Strasbourg, CNRS, Strasbourg, France. Luxembourg Institute for Socio-Economic Research (LISER), Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg. University of LuxembourgEsch-sur-AlzetteLuxembourg

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