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Women's Fertility and Employment Decisions under Two Political Systems - Comparing East and West Germany before Reunification

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  • Julia Bredtmann

    ()

  • Jochen Kluve
  • Sandra Schaffner

Abstract

Over the last decades fertility rates have decreased in most developed countries, while female labour force participation has increased strongly over the same time period. To shed light on the relationship between women's fertility and employment decisions, we analyse their transitions to the first, second, and third child as well as their employment discontinuities following childbirth. Using new longitudinal datasets that cover the work and family life of women in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) allows for taking into account two political regimes and drawing conclusions about the relevance of institutional factors for fertility and employment decisions. Our results suggest that in both parts of Germany women's probability of having a first child is negatively correlated with both employment and educational achievement. Regarding second and third birth risks, this negative correlation weakens. Analysing women's time spent out of the labour market following childbirth we find that in the East almost all mothers return to work within 18 months after birth. In the West, however, this proportion is much smaller and at the age when the child starts nursery school or school, women re-enter the labour market at higher rates. These results point to a strong influence of institutional circumstances, specifically the extent of public daycare provision. A multivariate analysis reveals a strong correlation between a woman's employment status prior to birth and her probability of re-entering the labour market afterwards.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0149.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0149

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Keywords: Female labour force participation; fertility;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Alfredo R. Paloyo, 2010. "Compulsory Military Service in Germany Revisited," Ruhr Economic Papers 0206, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Hanel, Barbara & Riphahn, Regina T., 2011. "The Employment of Mothers: Recent Developments and their Determinants in East and West Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 5752, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Drasch, Katrin, 2012. "Between familial imprinting and institutional regulation: Family related employment interruptions of women in Germany before and after the German reunification," IAB Discussion Paper 201209, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  4. Jochen Kluve & Marcus Tamm, 2013. "Parental leave regulations, mothers’ labor force attachment and fathers’ childcare involvement: evidence from a natural experiment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 983-1005, July.
  5. Michaela Kreyenfeld & Anja Vatterrott, 2013. "Geschlechtsspezifische Arbeitsmarktsegregation und Geburtenverhalten: neue Befunde auf Basis der „Biografiedaten ausgewählter Sozialversicherungsträger in Deutschland“ (BASiD)," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2013-009, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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