Julia Gumy and Anke C. Plagnol. "Job satisfaction and women's timing of return to work after childbirth".


The present study explores whether job satisfaction prior to childbirth is an important determinant of the timing of mothers’ return to work after the birth of a first child in Britain and Germany. Event history models based on data from two longitudinal European datasets – the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and the German Socio Economic Panel (GSOEP) – show that in both countries higher prior job satisfaction positively affects re-entry into the labour market by reducing the time spent in non-employment after childbirth. This effect is, however, observable for British mothers only more than twenty months after childbirth, suggesting the importance of other factors for labour market attachment during the first months of the child’s life. In Germany, job satisfaction significantly affects mothers’ re-entry to work decisions throughout the whole period. These country differences may reflect differences in parental leave policies and institutional support for the reconciliation of motherhood and paid employment.