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Women's Hours of Market Work in Germany: The Role of Parental Leave

Author

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  • Merz, Monika

    () (University of Vienna)

Abstract

This paper investigates trends and changes in the structural composition of women’s weekly market hours worked in former West-Germany using aggregate time-series data from the German micro census from 1957 until 2002. Aggregate weekly hours worked per working-age woman are decomposed into hours worked per employee – the intensive margin of adjustment – and the employment-to-population (EP-) ratio – the extensive margin. The decomposition is performed by women’s marital status, their age, and whether or not young children are present. The main results are that since the mid 1970s, the EP-ratio has steadily risen among female employees of all marital statuses whereas the weekly hours worked per female employee have declined. These changes have been the most distinct among married women with young children. The paper attributes much of the observed changes for married women to institutional modifications in the federal legislation governing parental leave which have occurred since 1986.

Suggested Citation

  • Merz, Monika, 2004. "Women's Hours of Market Work in Germany: The Role of Parental Leave," IZA Discussion Papers 1288, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1288
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chari, V. V. & Kehoe, Patrick J., 2004. "Financial crises as herds: overturning the critiques," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 128-150.
    2. Goodfriend, Marvin & King, Robert G., 2005. "The incredible Volcker disinflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 981-1015.
    3. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
    4. Claudia Olivetti, 2006. "Changes in Women's Hours of Market Work: The Role of Returns to Experience," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 557-587, October.
    5. Christopher J. Ruhm, 1998. "The Economic Consequences of Parental Leave Mandates: Lessons from Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 285-317.
    6. Larry E. JONES & Rodolfo E. MANUELLI & Ellen R. McGRATTAN, 2015. "Why Are Married Women Working so much ?," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 75-114, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Domeij, 2013. "Should Day Care be Subsidized?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 568-595.
    2. Kaiser, Lutz C., 2006. "Female Labor Market Transitions in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 2115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Rafael Lalive & Analía Schlosser & Andreas Steinhauer & Josef Zweimüller, 2014. "Parental Leave and Mothers' Careers: The Relative Importance of Job Protection and Cash Benefits," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 219-265.
    4. Tamm Marcus, 2010. "Child Benefit Reform and Labor Market Participation," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, pages 313-327.
    5. Reich, Nora, 2008. "Das Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz in Deutschland: Analyse potenzieller Effekte auf Geburtenzahl und Fertilitätsstruktur," HWWI Policy Papers 1-10, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    6. Boll, Christina & Leppin, Julian Sebastian & Reich, Nora, 2011. "Einfluss der Elternzeit von Vätern auf die familiale Arbeitsteilung im internationalen Vergleich," HWWI Policy Papers 59, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    7. Pierre-Carl Michaud & Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2005. "Employment Dynamics of Married Women in Europe," Working Papers 273, RAND Corporation.
    8. C. Katharina Spieß, 2011. "Vereinbarkeit von Familie und Beruf – wie wirksam sind deutsche „Care Policies“?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(s1), pages 4-27, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    parental leave and benefit policy; extensive and intensive margin of adjustment; female labor supply;

    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

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