Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 1, Issue 1–2, pp 77–110 | Cite as

The Liberalization of Maternity Leave Policy and the Return to Work after Childbirth in Germany

  • Jan Ondrich
  • C. Katharina Spiess
  • Qing Yang
  • Gert G. Wagner

Abstract

German federal law has increased the potential duration of maternity leave five times since 1985. A theoretical model demonstrates that the cumulative return probability at potential duration cannot decline unless the mother's employment conditions or career expectations change. We estimate return to work hazards from the German Socio-Economic Panel for women bearing children in the period 1984–1991 and predict cumulative return probabilities for first-time mothers and mothers with a previous birth. The pattern of cumulative return probabilities as potential duration increases is consistent with the hypothesis that employment conditions or career expectations frequently change for mothers taking longer leaves.

maternity leave proportional hazard return to work cumulative return probability 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Ondrich
    • 1
  • C. Katharina Spiess
    • 2
  • Qing Yang
    • 3
  • Gert G. Wagner
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Policy ResearchSyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA; Tel.
  2. 2.German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) andBerlin University of Technology (TUB)BerlinGermany
  3. 3.VerbindLexingtonUSA

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