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Economic Relations Between Women And Their Partners: An East And West German Comparison After Reunification

  • Heike Trappe
  • Annemette S�rensen

This article compares women's and men's economic relations in East and West Germany following the 1990 reunification to exemplify the impact of varying opportunity structures on women's relative contribution to family income. West Germany's takeover set in motion a rapid transformation of East German institutions and employment structures. The analysis shows that women in West Germany became less dependent on their partners in the 1990s, largely because fewer women were housewives without earnings. In contrast, the contributions of women to the family economy in East Germany fell between 1990 and 1996. Afterwards, women in East Germany regained some of their economic power because of their partners' increasing difficulties sustaining employment. A multivariate analysis showed that the fact that women in West Germany were more likely to work less or not at all�-�especially if they were married or had children�-�accounted for much of the difference.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 643-665

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Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:12:y:2006:i:4:p:643-665
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  1. Wolfgang Franz & Viktor Steiner, 2000. "Wages in the East German Transition Process: Facts and Explanations," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(3), pages 241-269, 08.
  2. Thomas Lange, 1998. "The Economics of German Unification," Books, Edward Elgar, number 794, December.
  3. Gustafsson, Siv, 1992. "Separate Taxation and Married Women's Labor Supply: A Comparison of West Germany and Sweden," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 61-85, February.
  4. Jennifer Hunt, 2004. "Convergence and determinants of non-employment durations in Eastern and Western Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 249-266, 06.
  5. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Household Taxation, Income Splitting and Labor Supply Incentives: A Microsimulation Study for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 421, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Elke Holst & Jürgen Schupp, 2001. "Erwerbsverhalten von Frauen: Trotz Annäherung immer noch deutliche Unterschiede zwischen Ost und West," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 68(42), pages 648-658.
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