Mothers’ Earnings Trajectories after Divorce in Sweden and Germany

Sarah Schmauk , Hertie School
Anna-Karin Nylin, Stockholm University
Michaela Kreyenfeld, Hertie School of Governance
Ann-Zofie Duvander, Stockholm University

This study uses large scale register data from Germany and Sweden to examine mothers’ earning trajectories after divorce. In particular it is investigated how pre-birth earnings and labour market behaviour determine earnings trajectories after divorce. We explore how patterns differ between East Germany, West Germany and Sweden and how they vary by pre-birth earning quantiles. Our preliminary investigations shows large differences in women’s labour market attachment before and around childbirth in the three regions. As expected, West German women are the least likely to be working around childbirth. In all regions, divorced women expand their labour market participation after childbirth. This particularly pertains to West German women, who nevertheless remain far below their pre-birth income. However, there are large differences by pre-birth earnings quantiles. It seems that divorced women in the lowest earning quantile experienced rather flat earning trajectories compared to women in the other earning brackets. This finding is consistent across countries.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course