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Market Work and Motherhood Decisions in Contexts


  • Del Boca, Daniela

    () (University of Turin)

  • Pasqua, Silvia

    () (University of Turin)

  • Pronzato, Chiara D.

    () (University of Turin)


In this paper, we explore the impact of social policies and labour market characteristics on women’s decisions regarding work and childbearing, using data from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP). We estimate the two decisions jointly and, in addition to personal characteristics, include variables related to the childcare system, parental leave arrangements, family allowances, and labour market flexibility. Our empirical results show that a non-negligible portion of the differences in participation and fertility rates for women from different European countries can be attributed to the characteristics of these institutions, and that the environmental effects vary by educational level. While labour market arrangements, such as part-time opportunities (when well-paid and protected), have a larger impact on the outcomes of women with higher educational levels, childcare and optional parental leaves have a larger impact on the fertility and participation decisions of women at lower educational levels.

Suggested Citation

  • Del Boca, Daniela & Pasqua, Silvia & Pronzato, Chiara D., 2008. "Market Work and Motherhood Decisions in Contexts," IZA Discussion Papers 3303, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3303

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. REINSTADLER Anne, 2011. "Luxembourg and France: Comparable Family Benefits, Comparable Fertility Levels?," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-65, LISER.
    2. Olivier Thevenon, 2009. "Does fertility respond to work and family reconciliation policies in France?," Working Papers hal-00424832, HAL.

    More about this item


    fertility; parental leave; childcare; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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