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The Impact of Social Support Networks on Maternal Employment: A Comparison of West German, East German and Migrant Mothers of Pre-School Children

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  • Mareike Wagner

Abstract

Given shortages in public child care in Germany, this paper asks whether social support with child care and domestic work by spouses, kin and friends can facilitate mothers' return to full-time or part-time positions within the first six years after birth. Using SOEP data from 1993-2009 and event history analyses for competing risks, the author compares the employment transitions of West German, East German and migrant mothers of pre-school children. The results indicatethat West German and migrant mothers return to work sooner if they have access to kin, and that kinship support is particularly important when public child care is unavailable. Furthermore, West German and migrant mothers are more likely to work full-time if their spouses partipate in domestic work. In contrast, social support does not affect employment transitions in East Germany where public child care is more easily accessible and continuous female employment is a prevalent social norm.

Suggested Citation

  • Mareike Wagner, 2012. "The Impact of Social Support Networks on Maternal Employment: A Comparison of West German, East German and Migrant Mothers of Pre-School Children," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 483, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp483
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Hank, Karsten & Kreyenfeld, Michaela & Spieß, Christa Katharina, 2004. "Kinderbetreuung und Fertilität in Deutschland," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 228-244.
    3. Felix Büchel & C. Katharina Spieß, 2002. "Kindertageseinrichtungen und Müttererwerbstätigkeit: neue Erkenntnisse zu einem bekannten Zusammenhang," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 71(1), pages 95-113.
    4. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Chiara Pronzato, 2009. "Motherhood and market work decisions in institutional context: a European perspective," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages 147-171, April.
    5. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
    6. 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.
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    Keywords

    Maternal employment; child care; social support;
    All these keywords.

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