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A Multilevel Analysis of Child Care and the Transition to Motherhood in Western Germany

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  • Karsten Hank
  • Michaela Kreyenfeld
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    Abstract

    In this paper, we take a multilevel perspective to investigate the role of child care in the transition to motherhood in Germany. We argue that in the European institutional context the availability of public day care and informal child care arrangements should be a central element of the local opportunity structure regarding the compatibility of childrearing and women's employment. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we apply a multilevel discrete time logit model to estimate first birth risks of western German women. While we find that access to informal care arrangements increases the probability of entering parenthood, we do not find any statistically significant effect of the public day care provision. This result probably points to shortcomings in the specific institutional set-up of the German daycare regime, and to the existence of potentially relevant unobserved dimensions of child care.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.38635.de/dp290.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 290.

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    Length: 30 p.
    Date of creation: 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp290

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    Related research

    Keywords: child care; fertility; multilevel analysis; Germany;

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    References

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    1. Karsten Hank, 2002. "Regional Social Contexts and Individual Fertility Decisions: A Multilevel Analysis of First and Second Births in Western Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 270, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
    3. Harriet Presser, 1989. "Can we make time for children? the economy, work schedules, and child care," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 523-543, November.
    4. James J. Heckrnan, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 491-524 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
    6. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-41, November.
    7. Ahn, N. & Mira, P., 1999. "A Note on the Changing Relationship Between Fertility and Female Employment Rates in Developed Countries," Papers 9903, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
    8. David M. Blau & Alison P. Hagy, 1998. "The Demand for Quality in Child Care," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 104-146, February.
    9. Ermisch, John F, 1989. "Purchased Child Care, Optimal Family Size and Mother's Employment: Theory and Econometric Analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 79-102.
    10. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2000. "Does the availability of childcare influence the employment of mothers? Findings from western Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    11. Evelyn Lehrer & Seiichi Kawasaki, 1985. "Child care arrangements and fertility: An analysis of two-earner households," Demography, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 499-513, November.
    12. James J. Heckman, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 136-169 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Heather Joshi, 1998. "The opportunity costs of childbearing: More than mothers' business," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 161-183.
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    Cited by:
    1. World Bank, 2007. "Chile - County Gender Assessment : Expanding Women's Work Choices to Enhance Chile's Economic Potential," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7639, The World Bank.
    2. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld & C. Katharina Spieß, 2003. "Kinderbetreuung und Fertilität in Deutschland," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-002, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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