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What Makes Single Mothers Expand or Reduce Employment?

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  • Mine Hancioglu
  • Bastian Hartmann

Abstract

To explore single mothers' labor market participation we analyze specific circumstances and dynamics in their life courses. We focus on the question which individual and institutional factors determine both professional advancement and professional descent. Due to dynamics in women's life course identifying and analyzing restrictions and interruptions of employment requires a longitudinal research design. The German Socio-Economic Panel (1984-2009) provides all necessary information identifying episodes of single motherhood and employment during life courses. Since family statuses of single mothers are partially endogenous and can end in multiple ways, we use semi-parametric survival models. Competing risks estimations offer a detailed view by analyzing single mothers' transition from not being employed to full-time or part-time work and vice versa simultaneously. Estimates show that occupational careers of single mothers are influenced by both individual factors and institutional circumstances. Whereas specific problems occur shortly after becoming a single mother, these problems seem to be dealt with over time. Enhancing labor market participation or maintaining full-time employment as a single mother can be achieved when certain challenges are met such as appointed and reliable working hours. Single mothers that do not have to rely on public childcare arrangements, but are capable of finding individual solutions are more likely to balance work and family life. Among institutional determinants welfare benefits have a negative effect on the market labor participation of women in low-paid jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • Mine Hancioglu & Bastian Hartmann, 2012. "What Makes Single Mothers Expand or Reduce Employment?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 446, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp446
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.400265.de/diw_sp0446.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Blau & Erdal Tekin, 2007. "The determinants and consequences of child care subsidies for single mothers in the USA," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(4), pages 719-741, October.
    2. L. Randall Wray & Stephanie Bell, 2004. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Credit and State Theories of Money, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Tom Kornstad & Thor Thoresen, 2007. "A discrete choice model for labor supply and childcare," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(4), pages 781-803, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
    6. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2009. "Maternal Labor Supply and the Introduction of Kindergartens into American Public Schools," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
    7. Philippe Robert-Demontrond & R. Ringoot, 2004. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00081823, HAL.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Single mothers; labor supply; event history analysis; Cox-regression;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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