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Cross-National Research Using Contemporary Birth Cohort Studies: A Look at Early Maternal Employment in the United Kingdom and United States

Crosby, Danielle A and Hawkes, Denise (2008) Cross-National Research Using Contemporary Birth Cohort Studies: A Look at Early Maternal Employment in the United Kingdom and United States. Centre for Longitudinal Studies, Institute of Education, University of London, London. ISBN 978-1-906929-08-4

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Abstract

The recent establishment of two national longitudinal studies of contemporary birth cohorts in the United Kingdom and United States creates a valuable opportunity for cross-national research on the early life experiences of young children and their families. This paper describes these new datasets and highlights the potential advantages and challenges of their combined use. To illustrate some of the issues involved in this type of research, we present the results of parallel analyses examining the patterns and predictors of British and American mothers‘ (re)entry into the labour force in the first 9 months post-birth. Similar to previous studies, we find that US mothers engage in paid work at much faster rates following the birth of a child than mothers in the UK. In both samples, mothers‘ human capital and other indicators of advantage predict higher rates (and earlier entries) of post-birth employment. However, within the subset of mothers most strongly attached to the labour force, i.e., those with recent employment experience, it is socioeconomic disadvantage that predicts sooner returns—but, only for US mothers. Lessons learned and directions for future research with these data are discussed.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: A shorter version of this paper appeared in the International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 10(5), pp. 379-404 (2007)
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (2)
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2010 10:34
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2013 11:16
URI: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/id/eprint/5948
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