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Employment trajectories and later employment outcomes for mothers in the British household panel survey: an analysis by skill level

Stewart, Kitty (2014) Employment trajectories and later employment outcomes for mothers in the British household panel survey: an analysis by skill level. Journal of Social Policy, 43 (1). pp. 87-108. ISSN 0047-2794

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Abstract

This article explores the association between mothers' involvement in paid employment when their children are young and their later employment prospects. Using 17 waves of the British Household Panel Survey (1997-2007), it examines the employment trajectories of 954 women for the decade after the birth of their youngest child, asking two main questions. Do mothers who enter or return to work tend to remain in employment? And do wages and job satisfaction further down the line (when the youngest child reaches ten years old) reflect the pathway taken? The article focuses in particular on differences between women with higher- and lower-level qualifications. Mothers are found to be following a variety of employment pathways, with instability relatively common: more than one in three move in and out of work over the period, and this movement is just as common among mothers with higher levels of qualifications as among those with only GCSE-level qualifications or none at all. A stable - and longer - work history is associated with increased wages later on, but the benefits are greater for women with higher levels of qualifications, as might be predicted by human capital theory. Women who were more highly qualified and who moved in and out of work over the decade had an hourly wage when their youngest child was ten which was 31 per cent lower than similar women with a stable work history; for women with few or no qualifications the corresponding figure was 10 per cent and statistically insignificant. For both groups, job satisfaction at the end of the decade was unrelated to the pathway taken.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJourna...
Additional Information: © 2013 Cambridge University Press
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J22 - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J4 - Particular Labor Markets > J41 - Contracts: Specific Human Capital, Matching Models, Efficiency Wage Models, and Internal Labor Markets
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Research centres and groups > Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2013 14:33
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/54874/

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