Women’s self-employment in Poland: A strategy for combining work and childcare?
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).
|Date of creation:||2013|
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