Career penalty of motherhood in Spain

Irene Lapuerta, Universidad Pública de Navarra (UPNA)
Marta Dominguez Folgueras, OSC-Sciences Po
María José González, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

The aim of this paper is to describe the different impact of parenthood on mothers’ labour market position in Spain. The main idea is that, despite the implicit protection granted by the laws on parental leaves in Spain, motherhood penalizes working women. Our study is carried out in an institutional context especially difficult for the conciliation of work and family, and the economic crisis also entails more insecurity and precariousness for workers. In the first part of the paper we introduce briefly the academic debate on the influence of children in men’s and women’s labour market behaviour. In a second section we analyze the most recent socio-demographic changes in Spain (an increase in female employment rates, a fall in fertility rates), and its links with family policies. In the third and last section we describe the labour market position of mothers with young children, and discuss the effect of policies to reconcile family and work. To do so, we use data from the Spanish Labour Force Survey and the Muestra Continua de Vidas Laborales (MCVL, waves 2005-2012).

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Presented in Session 34: Making use of family policy: fertility and labour market effects