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Maternal Employment and Happiness: The Effect of Non-Participation and Part-Time Employment on Mothers' Life Satisfaction

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  • Eva M. Berger

Abstract

In contrast to unemployment, the effect of non-participation and parttime employment on subjective well-being has much less frequently been the subject of economists' investigations. In Germany, many women with dependent children are involuntarily out of the labor force or in part-time employment because of family constraints (e.g., due to lack of available and appropriate childcare). Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) Study, this paper analyzes the impact of involuntary familyrelated non-participation and part-time employment on mothers' life satisfaction. Controlling for unobserved individual fixed effects, I find that both the pecuniary effects (foregone earnings) and the non-pecuniary effects (psychological costs) are significantly negative. Compensating income variations reveal that the residual household income would have to be raised by 182 percent (157 percent/77 percent) in order to just offset the negative effect of not being able to work because of family constraints (of being in short/long part-time employment). Moreover, in terms of overall happiness among mothers, non-participation is revealed to be a more serious problem than unemployment.

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  • Eva M. Berger, 2009. "Maternal Employment and Happiness: The Effect of Non-Participation and Part-Time Employment on Mothers' Life Satisfaction," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 890, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp890
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    Cited by:

    1. Latif, Ehsan, 2011. "The impact of retirement on psychological well-being in Canada," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 373-380, August.
    2. repec:zbw:rwirep:0196 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Anna Klabunde & Evelyn Korn, 2010. "Parasites and Raven Mothers: A German-Japanese Comparison on (Lone) Motherhood," Ruhr Economic Papers 0196, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Nicolai Suppa, 2012. "Job Characteristics and Subjective Well-Being in Australia – A Capability Approach Perspective," Ruhr Economic Papers 0388, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    5. Klabunde, Anna & Korn, Evelyn, 2010. "Parasites and Raven Mothers: A German-Japanese Comparison on (Lone) Motherhood," Ruhr Economic Papers 196, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Pia S. Schober & Christian Schmitt, 2013. "Day-Care Expansion and Parental Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 602, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    7. Ilse Laurijssen & Ignace Glorieux, 2013. "Balancing Work and Family: A Panel Analysis of the Impact of Part-Time Work on the Experience of Time Pressure," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 112(1), pages 1-17, May.
    8. Garloff, Alfred & Burkert, Carola & Schaade, Peter, 2009. "Frauen auf dem Vormarsch? Frauen und Männer am Ausbildungs- und Arbeitsmarkt in Hessen 2008," IAB-Regional. Berichte und Analysen aus dem Regionalen Forschungsnetz. IAB Hessen 200901, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    9. Suppa, Nicolai, 2012. "Job Characteristics and Subjective Well-Being in Australia – A Capability Approach Perspective," Ruhr Economic Papers 388, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Vanessa Gash & Antje Mertens & Laura Romeu Gordo, 2010. "Women between Part-Time and Full-Time Work: The Influence of Changing Hours of Work on Happiness and Life-Satisfaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 268, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    11. Latif, Ehsan, 2010. "Crisis, unemployment and psychological wellbeing in Canada," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 520-530, July.
    12. Zumbro, Timo, 2011. "The relationship between homeownership and life satisfaction in Germany," CAWM Discussion Papers 44, University of Münster, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).
    13. repec:zbw:rwirep:0388 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective well-being; life satisfaction; labor force participation; part-time; maternal employment; work-family conflict;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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