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Locus of Control and Mothers' Return to Employment

Discussion Papers 1586, 51 S.

Eva M. Berger, Luke Haywood


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Pubished in: Journal of Human Capital 10 (2016), 4, S. 442-481


This paper investigates the effect of locus of control (LOC) on the length of mothers’ employment break after childbirth. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), duration data reveals that women with an internal LOC return to employment more quickly than women with an external LOC. We find evidence that this effect is mainly related to differential appreciation of the career costs of longer maternity leave. Given the high level of job protection enjoyed by mothers in Germany, economic consequences of differences in this non-cognitive skill can be expected to be larger in other settings.

JEL-Classification: J22;J24
Keywords: Locus of Control, Non-cognitive skills, personality, maternal employment, female labor supply, survival analysis
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