Postponement (1) of maternitiy and the duration of time spent at home after first birth panel data analyses comparing Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Sweden (2)

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2002


This paper analyses the postponement of first births of the 1990s compared to the 1980s, using panel data from four countries, namely, Germany (GSOEP), Great Britain (BHPS), the Netherlands (OSA) and Sweden (HUS). We find substantial postponement of maternity in all four countries for all educational groups with the most pronounced postponement among highly educated women. However, the mean age of the mother at giving birth to the first child was the lowest in Great Britain both in the 1980s and 1990s. Theoretically we can distinguish two motives for postponing maternity namely, the consumption-smoothing motive and the careerplanning motive. In this paper we concentrate on an important determinant of the maternal time costs: the time spent out of market work.

Published in

Public Finance and Management


Volume: 2 (2):218-244



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