Determinants of Employment Decisions After the First Child Birth in Spain

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyse impact of human capital on employment decisions (namely, entry and exit from employment) of first-time mothers in Spain. To carry out the analysis, we use the Fertility, Family and Values Survey of 2006. Transitions are studied via discrete-time duration models with control for frailty. The results indicate that education, previous work experience and living without a partner increase the likelihood of (re-)entering employment and decrease the likelihood of leaving employment after the first child than their low-educated, non-experienced and partnered counterparts. Women in recent cohorts register more (re-)employment transitions than the rest. However, no differences were observed in the transits out of employment across cohorts, which prove small progress in the work-life balance in Spain over the last decades. Finally, the circumstances around childbirth do not seem to influence employment decisions of first-time mothers.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    De la Rica and Ferrero (2003) found higher proneness in labour market participation for women with children older than six years old.

  2. 2.

    The information is initially not captured on a yearly basis, but there are so many missing cases in the precise month of the relevant events (particularly with the beginning and ending of jobs) that we have summarised them into yearly observations.

  3. 3.

    The detection of transitions from employment is sensitive to the treatment of maternal leave. Since women report the dates of the beginning and ending of their relations with employers, those on maternal leave will be considered to be employed.

  4. 4.

    The aim of this paper is to analyse the determinants of employment decisions after the first childbirth, so that the analysis carried out in this paper is only valid for those women who finally have decided to be mothers. This means accepting a potential sample selection bias, since not all women decide to be mothers or are able to.

  5. 5.

    In Spain, pregnancies amongst students are very uncommon.

  6. 6.

    Since our empirical strategy addresses a single transition, interviewees are no longer observable once they enter employment for the first time after the birth if they are not employed or leave employment for the first time after the birth if initially employed. For those who do not experience the relevant transition, right – hand censorship takes place ten years after the birth or, exceptionally, at the moment of the interview, whichever is first.

  7. 7.

    As a robustness check, we estimated the same analysis excluding education attainment, since it may be partially correlated with the cohort, and cohort dummies remained non-significant. The relevant results are available from the authors upon request.

  8. 8.

    It is worth mentioning here that there are significant differences as regards fertility decisions amongst married and cohabiting women. Namely, cohabiting mothers delay maternity more than married ones. However, once fertility decisions have been made, the type of partnership has no relevant impact on labour market transitions around the birth.

  9. 9.

    The relevant coefficient in the (re-)entry models is only significant at a 90% confidence level and not very robust.

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Correspondence to María A. Davia.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 3.

Table 3 Mean values of the variables used in models of transitions into and from employment after childbirth

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Davia, M.A., Legazpe, N. Determinants of Employment Decisions After the First Child Birth in Spain. J Fam Econ Iss 35, 214–227 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-013-9360-5

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Keywords

  • Family and work
  • Employment transitions
  • Female labour force
  • Motherhood