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Maternal Employment and Happiness: The Effect of Non-Participation and Part-Time Employment on Mothers' Life Satisfaction

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  • Eva M. Berger

Abstract

In contrast to unemployment, the effect of non-participation and parttime employment on subjective well-being has much less frequently been the subject of economists' investigations. In Germany, many women with dependent children are involuntarily out of the labor force or in part-time employment because of family constraints (e.g., due to lack of available and appropriate childcare). Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) Study, this paper analyzes the impact of involuntary familyrelated non-participation and part-time employment on mothers' life satisfaction. Controlling for unobserved individual fixed effects, I find that both the pecuniary effects (foregone earnings) and the non-pecuniary effects (psychological costs) are significantly negative. Compensating income variations reveal that the residual household income would have to be raised by 182 percent (157 percent/77 percent) in order to just offset the negative effect of not being able to work because of family constraints (of being in short/long part-time employment). Moreover, in terms of overall happiness among mothers, non-participation is revealed to be a more serious problem than unemployment.

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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 890.

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Length: 28 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp890

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Keywords: Subjective well-being; life satisfaction; labor force participation; part-time; maternal employment; work-family conflict;

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  1. Bardasi, Elena & Francesconi, Marco, 2004. "The impact of atypical employment on individual wellbeing: evidence from a panel of British workers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(9), pages 1671-1688, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Anna Klabunde & Evelyn Korn, 2010. "Parasites and Raven Mothers: A German-Japanese comparison on (lone) motherhood," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201023, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  2. Latif, Ehsan, 2010. "Crisis, unemployment and psychological wellbeing in Canada," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 520-530, July.
  3. Zumbro, Timo, 2011. "The relationship between homeownership and life satisfaction in Germany," CAWM Discussion Papers 44, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM), University of Münster.
  4. Pia S. Schober & Christian Schmitt, 2013. "Day-Care Expansion and Parental Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 602, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Nicolai Suppa, 2012. "Job Characteristics and Subjective Well-Being in Australia – A Capability Approach Perspective," Ruhr Economic Papers 0388, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  6. Ilse Laurijssen & Ignace Glorieux, 2013. "Balancing Work and Family: A Panel Analysis of the Impact of Part-Time Work on the Experience of Time Pressure," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 112(1), pages 1-17, May.

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