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The Employment of Mothers: Recent Developments and their Determinants in East and West Germany

  • Hanel, Barbara


    (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research)

  • Riphahn, Regina T.


    (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

We apply German Mikrozensus data for the period 1996 to 2004 to investigate the employment status of mothers. Specifically, we ask whether there are behavioral differences between mothers in East and West Germany, whether these differences disappear over time, and whether there are differences in the developments for high vs. low and medium skilled females. We find substantial differences in the employment behavior of East and West German mothers. German family policy sets incentives particularly for low income mothers not to return to the labor market after birth. East German mothers' employment outcomes matches that expected based on these policy incentives: over time East German mothers with low earnings potentials appear to adopt West German low employment patterns.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5752.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik, 2012, 232 (2), 146-176
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5752
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  1. Paul Gregg & Maria Gutiérrez-Domènech & Jane Waldfogel, 2003. "The employment of married mothers in Great Britain: 1974-2000," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20014, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
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  4. Dearing, Helene & Hofer, Helmut & Lietz, Christine & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2007. "Why are Mothers Working Longer Hours in Austria than in Germany? A Comparative Micro Simulation Analysis," Economics Series 213, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  5. Tamm, Marcus, 2009. "Child Benefit Reform and Labor Market Participation," Ruhr Economic Papers 97, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
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  7. Barrow, Lisa, 1999. "An Analysis of Women's Return-to-Work Decisions following First Birth," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 432-51, July.
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  14. Bredtmann, Julia & Kluve, Jochen & Schaffner, Sandra, 2009. "Women's Fertility and Employment Decisions under Two Political Systems - Comparing East and West Germany before Reunification," Ruhr Economic Papers 149, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  15. Siv S. Gustafsson & Shirley Dex & Cécile M. M. P. Wetzels & Jan Dirk Vlasblom, 1996. "Women`s labor force transitions in connection with childbirth: A panel data comparison between Germany, Sweden and Great Britain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(3), pages 223-246.
  16. Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2009. "Parental leave policies and parents' employment and leave-taking," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 29-54.
  17. Johannes Geyer & Viktor Steiner, 2007. "Short-Run and Long-Term Effects of Childbirth on Mothers' Employment and Working Hours across Institutional Regimes: An Empirical Analysis Based on the European Community Household Panel," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 682, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  18. Robert Orlowski & Regina T. Riphahn, 2008. "The East German Wage Structure after Transition," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 148, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  19. Schönberg, Uta & Ludsteck, Johannes, 2007. "Maternity Leave Legislation, Female Labor Supply, and the Family Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 2699, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  21. Jan Ondrich & C. Spiess & Qing Yang & Gert Wagner, 2003. "The Liberalization of Maternity Leave Policy and the Return to Work after Childbirth in Germany," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 77-110, January.
  22. Lawrence M. Berger & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Maternity leave and the employment of new mothers in the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(2), pages 331-349, 06.
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