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Wind of Change? Cultural Determinants of Maternal Labor Supply

Author

Listed:
  • Boelmann, Barbara

    (CReAM ; Univ. Köln ; University College London)

  • Raute, Anna

    (CReAM ; CEPR ; Queen Mary University of London)

  • Schönberg, Uta

    (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg, Germany ; CReAM ; University College London)

Abstract

"Does the culture in which a woman grows up influence her labor market decisions once she has had a child? To what extent might the culture of her present social environment shape maternal labor supply? To address these questions, we exploit the setting of German reunification. A state socialist country, East Germany strongly encouraged mothers to participate in the labor market full-time, whereas West Germany propagated a more traditional male breadwinner-model. After reunification, these two cultures were suddenly thrown together, with consequent increased social interactions between East and West Germans through migration and commuting. A comparison of East and West German mothers on both sides of the former Inner German border within the same commuting zone shows that culture matters. Indeed, East German mothers return to work more quickly and for longer hours than West German mothers even two decades after reunification. Second, in exploiting migration across this old border, we document a strong asymmetry in the persistence of the culture in which women were raised. Whereas East German female migrants return to work earlier and work longer hours than their West German colleagues even after long exposure to the more traditional West German culture, West German migrants adjust their post-birth labor supply behavior nearly entirely to that of their East German colleagues. Finally, taking advantage of differential inflows of East German migrants across West German firms in the aftermath of reunification, we show that even a partial exposure to East German colleagues induces “native” West German mothers to accelerate their return to work after childbirth, suggesting that migration might be a catalyst for cultural change." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Suggested Citation

  • Boelmann, Barbara & Raute, Anna & Schönberg, Uta, 2020. "Wind of Change? Cultural Determinants of Maternal Labor Supply," IAB-Discussion Paper 202030, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  • Handle: RePEc:iab:iabdpa:202030
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    Cited by:

    1. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde, 2017. "When the opportunity knocks: large structural shocks and gender wage gaps," GRAPE Working Papers 2, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    2. Hannah Illing & Johannes Schmieder & Simon Trenkle, "undated". "The Gender Gap in Earnings Losses After Job Displacement," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2022_381, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    3. Moriconi, Simone & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2021. "Gender Norms and the Motherhood Employment Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 14898, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Henrik Kleven & Camille Landais & Johanna Posch & Andreas Steinhauer & Josef Zweimüller, 2020. "Do Family Policies Reduce Gender Inequality? Evidence from 60 Years of Policy Experimentation," NBER Working Papers 28082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Daniel Goller & Tamara Harrer & Michael Lechner & Joachim Wolff, 2021. "Active labour market policies for the long-term unemployed: New evidence from causal machine learning," Papers 2106.10141, arXiv.org, revised May 2023.
    6. Jessen, Jonas, 2022. "Culture, children and couple gender inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    7. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas Augusto van der Velde, 2021. "When Opportunity Knocks: Confronting Theory and Empirics About Dynamics of Gender Wage Inequality," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 837-864, June.
    8. Cortes, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2020. "Children and the Remaining Gender Gaps in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 13759, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bundesrepublik Deutschland ; Ostdeutschland ; Westdeutschland ; Auswirkungen ; Binnenwanderung ; Dauer ; Determinanten ; Erwerbsunterbrechung ; Erwerbsverhalten ; Frauenerwerbstätigkeit ; Berufsrückkehrerinnen ; kulturelle Faktoren ; Kulturwandel ; Migranten ; Mütter ; regionale Herkunft ; regionaler Vergleich ; soziale Normen ; soziale Umwelt ; staatlicher Zusammenschluss ; Arbeitskräfteangebot ; Arbeitszeit ; 1975-2010;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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