Labour force participation and childbearing: The impact of the first child on the economic activity of Swedish women
preprintposted on 12.02.2021, 16:06 by Eva Bernhardt
Swedish women have become increasingly inclined to take up a part-time job after the birth of their first child. The degree of home attachment has decreased considerably, at the same time as we observe a growing popularity of part-time work among women who take up employment again after having entered motherhood (but before the birth of their second child). Even women who start their post-birth labour market activity with full-time work have shown an increasing tendency to switch to part-time work. On the other hand, the propensity of one-child mothers who have taken up a part-time job to "escalate" hours of work has remained at a very low level. Most women working part-time continue to do so up to the birth of their second child. The length of prior work life experience, i e before the arrival of the first child, is positively related to part-time work. Somehow, an "established." position in the labour market seems to be a prerequisite for both getting and keeping a part-time job after childbirth. Conversely, a high level of education and/or "upper middle class" background seems to be associated with a disinclination toward part-time work.
The study is based on data from the Swedish Fertility Survey, undertaken by Statistics Sweden in 1981.