Endogenous Maternity Allowances as Exemplified by Academic Promotion Standards

32 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2019

See all articles by Heinrich W. Ursprung

Heinrich W. Ursprung

University of Konstanz; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: 2019


I model the strategic interaction between scientists aiming for promotion and a research institution that seeks a highly productive faculty by setting a maternity allowance in the form of a minimum promotion standard. The model shows that maternity allowances need not derive from moral justice arguments but can emerge endogenously from efficiency considerations. The underlying mechanism rests on the assumption that exceptionally productive female professionals are also exceptionally productive if they choose to become mothers. Even though motherhood temporarily handicaps their productivity, it is exactly this cost of motherhood that signals the mothers’ intrinsic high productivity. I explicitly refer to the academic labor market and use empirical evidence from academia to justify the model’s specification, but the conclusions carry over to promotion decisions at the executive level in most professional lines of occupation.

Keywords: maternity, job market signaling, fertility, research productivity, highly skilled labor, economics of science, scientometrics

JEL Classification: C720, D820, J130, J160, M140, M510

Suggested Citation

Ursprung, Heinrich, Endogenous Maternity Allowances as Exemplified by Academic Promotion Standards (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 7490. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3338846

Heinrich Ursprung (Contact Author)

University of Konstanz ( email )

Konstanz, D-78457
+49 7531 88 3713 (Phone)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679

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