Maternity leave in turbulent times: effects on labor market transitions and fertility in Russia, 1985-2000

Gerber, Theodore P. and Perelli-Harris, Brienna (2012) Maternity leave in turbulent times: effects on labor market transitions and fertility in Russia, 1985-2000. Social Forces, 90, (4), 1297-1322. (doi:10.1093/sf/sor043).


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Maternity leave policies are designed to ease the tension between women's employment and fertility, but whether they actually play such a role remains unclear. We analyze the individual-level effects of maternity leave on employment outcomes and on second conception rates among Russian first-time mothers from 1985-2000 using retrospective job and fertility histories from the Survey of Stratification and Migration Dynamics in Russia. During this period Russia experienced tremendous economic and political turbulence, which many observers believed would undermine policies like maternity leave and otherwise adversely affect the situation of women. Nevertheless, we find that maternity leave helped women maintain a foothold in the labor market, even during the more turbulent post-transition period. Also, women who took extended leave (6-36 months) in connection with a first birth had elevated rates of second conceptions after they returned to the workforce.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1093/sf/sor043
ISSNs: 0037-7732 (print)
1534-7605 (electronic)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions : Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Social Sciences > Social Statistics & Demography
ePrint ID: 337011
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
June 2012Published
6 June 2012Made publicly available
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2012 09:31
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:26
Centre for Population Change: Understanding Population Change in the 21st Century
Funded by: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (RES-625-28-0001)
Led by: Jane Cecelia Falkingham
1 January 2009 to 31 December 2013

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