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Does the availability of childcare influence the employment of mothers? Findings from western Germany

  • Karsten Hank

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Michaela Kreyenfeld

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    There is a vast empirical literature investigating the effects of childcare costs on female employment. Day-care costs are usually treated as a reduction in female wages and are supposed to reduce a woman’s propensity to participate in the labor market. In this paper we argue that an analysis of the effects of childcare on the employment of mothers in Germany should focus on the availability rather than the affordability of care, due to peculiarities of the German day-care regime. Our empirical findings cast doubt on the effectiveness of the current German day-care regime. Specifically, we question the extent to which it enables mothers to participate in the labor market. (AUTHORS)

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2000-003.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2000-003
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    1. Ermisch, John, 1993. "Familia Oeconomica: A Survey of the Economics of the Family," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 40(4), pages 353-74, November.
    2. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1988. "Child-Care Costs and Family Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 374-81, August.
    3. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S136-S163, Part II, .
    4. Siv Gustafsson & Frank P. Stafford, 1994. "Three Regimes of Child Care: The United States, the Netherlands, and Sweden," NBER Chapters, in: Social Protection versus Economic Flexibility: Is There a Trade-Off?, pages 333-362 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. John F. Ermisch & Robert E. Wright, 1991. "Welfare Benefits and Lone Parents' Employment in Great Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 424-456.
    6. Michaela Kreyenfeld & Gert Wagner, 2000. "Die Zusammenarbeit von Staat und Markt in der Sozialpolitik: das Beispiel Betreuungsgutscheine und Qualitätsregulierung für die institutionelle Kinderbetreuung," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 199, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
    8. 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.
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