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Women’s self-employment in Poland: A strategy for combining work and childcare?

Author

Listed:
  • Anna Matysiak
  • Monika Mynarska

    (Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics
    Institute of Psychology, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyñski University in Warsaw)

Abstract

The paper investigates whether self-employment, which generally offers greater flexibility with respect to the hours and place of work, is chosen by women in order to achieve a better balance between paid work and family. The empirical research on this topic has provided conflicting evidence. The shortcomings of previous studies are discussed and accounted for. First, we investigate women's self-employment choices in relationship with childbearing and childrearing, and we apply qualitative methodology to examine the motives that trigger these decisions. Second, in the quantitative part of the study, we investigate the direction of the relationship by analyzing whether self-employment encourages childbearing, or whether motherhood leads women to choose a more flexible form of employment. Finally, we account for the selection of mothers into the group of self-employed due to time-constant unobserved characteristics. Our results show that self-employment does not affect women's fertility decisions, but it can become an attractive option for women after they have children because of the flexibility it offers. Nevertheless, self-employment does not seem to be preferred to W&S contracts. Instead, it is seen as an alternative to being jobless or in a "bad job" (i.e., one that is inflexible, stressful, or demanding).

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Matysiak & Monika Mynarska, 2013. "Women’s self-employment in Poland: A strategy for combining work and childcare?," Working Papers 68, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isd:wpaper:68
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jacqueline Scott & Shirley Dex & Heather Joshi (ed.), 2008. "Women and Employment," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 12716.
    2. Jose Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal & Jose Alberto Molina & Raquel Ortega, 2012. "Self-employed mothers and the work-family conflict," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(17), pages 2133-2147, June.
    3. Anh T. Le, 1999. "Empirical Studies of Self‐Employment," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 381-416, September.
    4. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Chiara Pronzato, 2004. "Employment and Fertility Decisions in Italy, France and the U.K," CHILD Working Papers wp08_04, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Women’s self-employment; work-family reconciliation; child-care; fertility; Poland;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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