Welfare regimes, family-supportive policies, and women's employment along the life-course

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This article examines women's employment patterns during the child-rearing period and the consequences of those patterns for earnings later in life, in 12 industralized countries. This study proposes an analytic framework that combines "welfare regime" and gender-specific policies to explain country differences. The findings presented here suggest that institutional arrangements mediate the costs to women's part-time and intermittent employment. Within welfare regimes, employment continuity is highest among countries in which the state provides support for working mothers. Furthermore, this study finds that lower support for mothers' employment is associated with higher wage penalties to employment discontinuity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1731-1760
Number of pages30
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 2001


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