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The Availability of Child Care and Mothers' Employment in West Germany


  • Michaela Kreyenfeld
  • Karsten Hank


There is a vast empirical literature investigating the effects of child care costs on female employment. Day care costs are usually treated as a reduction in female wages, which is supposed to negatively affect a woman's propensity to participate in the labor market. In this paper, we argue that due to peculiarities of the German day care regime, an analysis of the effects of child care on mothers' employment in Germany should rather focus on the availabililty than on the affordability of care. Our empirical findings cast doubt on the effectiveness of the current German day care regime with regard to enabling mothers to work in the labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Michaela Kreyenfeld & Karsten Hank, 1999. "The Availability of Child Care and Mothers' Employment in West Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 191, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp191

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Patricia M. Anderson & Philip B. Levine, 1999. "Child Care and Mothers' Employment Decisions," NBER Working Papers 7058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lisa Powell, 1998. "Part-time versus full-time work and child care costs: evidence for married mothers," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 503-511.
    3. James J. Heckman, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," NBER Chapters,in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 136-169 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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 353-374, November.
    5. 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.
    6. 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 334-338, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Child Care Costs and Mothers' Labor Supply: An Empirical Analysis for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 412, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Daniela Del Boca & Daniela Vuri, 2007. "The mismatch between employment and child care in Italy: the impact of rationing," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(4), pages 805-832, October.
    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.

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