by Giulia M Dotti Sani, Matteo Luppi; Work, Employment and Society

Work, Employment and Society, Online, 2020


This article investigates whether a prolonged absence from the workforce after the birth of the first child is associated with mothers having a lower retirement income and whether cross-national variations in family policy and pension systems moderate the relationship between work interruptions and retirement incomes in 10 European countries. The analysis, based on five waves of SHARE data, indicates that the longer a mother abstains from work after the birth of her first child, the lower her retirement income is. However, the association is negligible in countries where mothers are historically supported by a comprehensive welfare system, namely Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. The findings indicate that generous work–family reconciliation policies and a universally oriented pensions system are most effective in minimising long-term motherhood income penalties when they are jointly present, pointing to the importance of policy packages that combine active and passive measures to achieve dual decommodification.

Full article:

“Absence from Work after the Birth of the First Child and Mothers’ Retirement Incomes: A Comparative Analysis of 10 European Countries”