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ERIC Number: EJ872446
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 64
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7732
Is There a Career Penalty for Mothers' Time Out? A Comparison of Germany, Sweden and the United States
Aisenbrey, Silke; Evertsson, Marie; Grunow, Daniela
Social Forces, v88 n2 p573-606 Dec 2009
This article focuses on three countries with distinct policies toward motherhood and work: Germany, Sweden and the United States. We analyze the length of mothers' time out of paid work after childbirth and the short-term career consequences for mothers. In the United States, we identify a career punishment even for short time-out periods; long time-out periods increase the risk of a downward move and reduce the chances of an upward move. In Germany, long time-out periods destabilize the career and, the longer the leave, the greater the risk of either an upward or downward move. In Sweden, we find a negative effect of time out on upward moves. Hence, even in "woman-friendly" Sweden, women's career prospects are better if they return to paid work sooner rather than later. (Contains 12 notes, 5 tables, and 4 figures.)
University of North Carolina Press. 116 South Boundary Street, P.O. Box 2288, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2288. Tel: 800-848-6224; Tel: 919-966-7449; Fax: 919-962-2704; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany; Sweden; United States