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A Multilevel Analysis of Child Care and the Transition to Motherhood in Western Germany

  • Karsten Hank
  • Michaela Kreyenfeld
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    In this paper, we take a multilevel perspective to investigate the role of child care in the transition to motherhood in Germany. We argue that in the European institutional context the availability of public day care and informal child care arrangements should be a central element of the local opportunity structure regarding the compatibility of childrearing and women's employment. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we apply a multilevel discrete time logit model to estimate first birth risks of western German women. While we find that access to informal care arrangements increases the probability of entering parenthood, we do not find any statistically significant effect of the public day care provision. This result probably points to shortcomings in the specific institutional set-up of the German daycare regime, and to the existence of potentially relevant unobserved dimensions of child care.

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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.38635.de/dp290.pdf
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    Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 290.

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    Length: 30 p.
    Date of creation: 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp290
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    1. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2002. "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 667-682.
    2. Ermisch, John F, 1989. "Purchased Child Care, Optimal Family Size and Mother's Employment: Theory and Econometric Analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 79-102.
    3. 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.
    4. Evelyn Lehrer & Seiichi Kawasaki, 1985. "Child care arrangements and fertility: An analysis of two-earner households," Demography, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 499-513, November.
    5. Del Boca, Daniela, 2002. "The Effect of Child Care and Part Time Opportunities on Participation and Fertility Decisions in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 427, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Karsten Hank, 2002. "Regional Social Contexts and Individual Fertility Decisions: A Multilevel Analysis of First and Second Births in Western Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 270, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. 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.
    8. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
    9. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-41, November.
    10. David M. Blau & Alison P. Hagy, 1998. "The Demand for Quality in Child Care," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 104-146, February.
    11. Heather Joshi, 1998. "The opportunity costs of childbearing: More than mothers' business," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 161-183.
    12. 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.
    13. Harriet Presser, 1989. "Can we make time for children? the economy, work schedules, and child care," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 523-543, November.
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