Mothers' Quest for Job Protection: Building the Nest or Breaking the Glass Ceiling? Evidence Using Spanish Longitudinal Data
46 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2009
Date Written: January 20, 2009
Previous research has found that temporary contracts delay marriage and fertility in Spain. Using newly released administrative data we study the motivations behind the fertility delay that is associated with job protection. We find that during the five years after the birth of the first child mothers in protected jobs promote less and their wages grow less (16 per cent) compared to mothers that had a fixed-term contract at the time of childbirth. The poor after-birth outcomes of mothers in protected jobs contrasts with their better performance before birth, with wages growing more rapidly than those of other women and other mothers. We provide evidence that a permanent contract acts as insurance against the negative wage effects of motherhood, but at the price of less wage growth. We also find that mothers that had a permanent contract at childbirth reduce their working time more, forgo opportunities of promotion outside the firm and have a lower return to each additional year of experience compared to mothers with a temporary contract. Our interpretation of these results is that job protection helps mothers conciliate work and family responsibilities rather than to achieve professional success.
Keywords: Family gap, motherhood, wages, job protection
JEL Classification: J13, J16, J31
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