Numerous studies have investigated whether the provision and generosity of parental leave affects the employment and career prospects of women. Parental leave systems typically provide either short unpaid leave mandated by the firm, as in the US, or more generous and universal leave mandated by the government, as in Canada and several European countries.
When looking at the issue of parental leave and maternal labor supply, some questions remain:
Has the female employment rate increased due to parental leave policies?
Have the probability of returning to work and career prospects increased for mothers after childbirth?
According to IZA World of Labor author Astrid Kunze: “International experience shows positive results with parental leave periods that are not too short and not too long, i.e. not exceeding one or two years, while extended leaves seem to lead to increasing career costs to the mother.”
Kunze adds: “Governments and firms should take notice of workers’ career costs, which vary by educational level and increase according to the length of leave.”
IZA World of Labor author Sher Verick has also looked into the complex nature of female labor force participation across countries. According to Verick: “The relationship between women’s participation in the labor force and development is complex and reflects changes in the pattern of economic growth, educational attainment, fertility rates, social norms, and other factors.”
Verick argues that labor force participation rates paint only a partial picture of women's work. “More important is understanding the quality of women’s employment,” according to him.
As new evidence emerges, the IZA World of Labor Editorial Board will commission updated versions of existing articles. If you would like more information on article updates and how to access them, please visit “What are article updates?” on our FAQ section.
Data from the last 30 years show that Western countries are becoming more secular. That is, the proportion of individuals in these countries who are less likely to identify as associated with any kind of religious beliefs has increased.
Most of these changes are due to differences across generations: younger generations are more secular than previous generations. Yet it is worth noting that still within generations there is a change in the proportion of individuals who identify as having any type of religious belief. Increased secularization at the national level is mostly explained by increases in income. The US, Europe, Canada, and Latin America all exhibit similar patterns of secularization.
Have a specific labor market query? Get in touch with one of our designated Topic Spokespeople.
Upcoming events and calls for papers
2nd International Conference on Gender Research April 11 - April 12, Roma Tre University, Italy.
The 2nd International Conference on Gender Research seeks to further establish a platform where academics and professionals can come together to share and learn.
9th ifo Dresden Workshop on Labor Economics and Social Policy May 16 - May 17, Dresden, Germany.
The workshop aims to facilitate the networking of young scientists and to promote the exchange of their latest research across the range of labor economics, social policy, education economics, demography and migration. Policy relevant contributions, either theoretical or applied, are highly welcome. We particularly encourage PhD students to submit their latest research.
2019 Jobs & Development Conference June 6 - June 7, Washington, D.C., United States.
Following the success of the 2016 and 2018 Jobs and Development Conferences in Washington DC and Bogotá, the World Bank in collaboration with IZA (Institute of Labor Economics) and the Network on Jobs and Development are organizing a follow up conference focused on “Improving Jobs Outcomes in Developing Countries.”
Know someone who would benefit from this email?
Forward this email to a colleague or encourage them to subscribe to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the labor market