Determinants of maternity leave duration in Australia : evidence from the HILDA survey

Ulker, Aydogan and Guven, Cahit 2011, Determinants of maternity leave duration in Australia : evidence from the HILDA survey, Economic record, vol. 87, no. 278, pp. 399-413, doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4932.2011.00729.x.

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Title Determinants of maternity leave duration in Australia : evidence from the HILDA survey
Author(s) Ulker, AydoganORCID iD for Ulker, Aydogan
Guven, CahitORCID iD for Guven, Cahit
Journal name Economic record
Volume number 87
Issue number 278
Start page 399
End page 413
Total pages 15
Publisher Wiley - Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publication Richmond, Vic.
Publication date 2011-09
ISSN 0013-0249
Summary We use the first five waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey to examine what determines the maternity leave taken by pre-birth employed mothers of newborn children in Australia. We find that the difficulties faced by mothers in finding appropriate child care in terms of both cost and quality hinder them from returning to the labour market following childbirth. Maternity leave entitlements lead to an earlier return to the labour market following the birth of a child, relative to those who have no leave rights at all. Mothers with higher wages in their pre-birth employment and mothers with higher education levels tend to return to the labour market earlier than their lower wage and less educated counterparts. More flexible pre-birth jobs are associated with an increase in the likelihood of mothers returning to the workforce earlier than the average. Household wealth, however, seems to play a facilitating role in mothers taking a longer period of maternity leave to look after the newborn child. That is, mothers who have higher wealth levels can ‘afford’ to stay on maternity leave longer, to look after their children better during their primary developmental months. We believe that this article provides useful insights into the employment transitions of Australian mothers after having a baby.
Notes Article first published online 21 April 2011
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1475-4932.2011.00729.x
Field of Research 140211 Labour Economics
Socio Economic Objective 910208 Micro Labour Market Issues
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2011, The Economic Society of Australia
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