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Education Driving the Rise in Dutch Female Employment: Explanations for the Increase in Part-time Work and Female Employment in the Netherlands, Contrasted with Germany

  • Schettkat, Ronald

    ()

    (University of Wuppertal)

  • Yocarini, Lara

    ()

    (Utrecht University)

Over the last 15 years, the Netherlands has experienced a tremendous jobs boom, mainly in services and female employment. This has often been related to changes in the Dutch institutional environment. Using a model which allows for direct utility of work, we find that institutional arrangements like the tax and pension system – often cited as a cause of the Dutch employment boom - contributed only marginally, if at all, to the rise in female labor supply. The increasing proportion of women with higher education and a high valuation of market work were the two main causes of rising female participation in the labor force. In addition, greater flexibility in work schedules (part-time work) has relaxed a demand constraint, allowing more women to participate in the labor market. We find: - that the increased number of women with higher education has contributed substantially to the rise in female labor force participation; - that it was only in the 1990s that the "behavioral" component contributed as much to rising female labor force participation as the "structural" (educational) component; - that there is no evidence that institutional specifics or the change in institutional arrangements (taxes and pensions) favored female labor force participation or that they provided strong incentives for part-time work; - that the work orientation of Dutch women is stronger than that of German women but that there is no evidence of a substantial increase in work orientation during the 1990s; - that there is no evidence that women were previously demand-constrained in the sense that they desired to work part-time but were prevented by a scarcity of part-time work.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 407.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: IAW-Report / Institut für Angewandte Wirtschaftsforschung, 2003, 1, 7 - 66
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp407
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  1. Frondel, Manuel & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2001. "Evaluating environmental programs: the perspective of modern evaluation research," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-59, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  2. James W. Albrecht & Jan C. van Ours, 2006. "Using Employer Hiring Behavior to Test the Educational Signaling Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(3), pages 361-372, October.
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  5. Fuess, Jr., Scott M., 2001. "Union Bargaining Power: A View from Japan," IZA Discussion Papers 393, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Gersbach, Hans & Schniewind, Achim, 2001. "Awareness of General Equilibrium Effects and Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 394, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Lindeboom, Maarten & Portrait, France & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2001. "An Econometric Analysis of the Mental-Health Effects of Major Events in the Life of Elderly Individuals," CEPR Discussion Papers 3091, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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