The antecedents of long employment breaks after childbearing among Finnish mothers in 1987–2012

Katja Pohjola, University of Turku
Marika Jalovaara, University of Turku

Previous studies suggest that educational attainment, of the mother and the possible partner, influences on the employment patterns after childbearing. The more educated the mother is, the shorter the career interruption is. Also, parents with greater educational homogamy share the care duties more equally. We explore how the length of the career interruption after childbearing differs between women of different backgrounds in Finland. The research asks whether the socio-economic status of the mother influences on the timing of entering employment. We focus on different socioeconomic factors of Finnish first-time mothers during the child birth cohorts 1988 – 2008. We estimate the length of the career interaction through event history methods. We use a Finnish register data from 1987 – 2012. We find that educational attainment has an expected effect. Analysis show that the effect is partly explained by the age of the mother, the previous employment and income. Interactions with the parity show that the positive effect of education, having a partner and previous employment exist only if the mother begins to work before the second child or has only one child. This study adds to previous literature by showing that in a Nordic welfare state, where the family policies enable a long parental leave and caring is very gendered, high education, having a spouse, good income and a previous employment promote a faster enter to employment after childbearing.

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Presented in Session 24: Female employment around birth