IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Why are mothers working longer hours in Austria than in Germany? A comparative micro simulation analysis



Labor force participation rates of mothers in Austria and Germany are similar, however full-time employment rates are much higher among Austrian mothers. In order to find out to what extent these differences can be attributed to differences in the tax transfer system, we perform a comparative micro simulation exercise. After estimating structural labor supply models of both countries, we interchange two important institutional characteristics of the two countries, namely (i) the definition of the tax unit within the personal income tax and (ii) the parental leave benefit scheme. As our analysis shows, differences in mothers’ employment patterns can partly be explained by the different tax systems: While Germany has a system of joint taxation with income splitting for married couples, Austria taxes everyone individually, which leads to lower marginal tax rates for secondary earners than the German system.

Suggested Citation

  • Helene Dearing & Helmut Hofer & Christine Lietz & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Katharina Wrohlich, 2007. "Why are mothers working longer hours in Austria than in Germany? A comparative micro simulation analysis," Economics working papers 2007-11, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  • Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2007_11

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Katharina Wrohlich, 2008. "The excess demand for subsidized child care in Germany," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(10), pages 1217-1228.
    2. Blundell, Richard & Macurdy, Thomas, 1999. "Labor supply: A review of alternative approaches," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1559-1695 Elsevier.
    3. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2006. "Introducing Family Tax Splitting in Germany: How Would It Affect the Income Distribution and Work Incentives," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 612, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    4. Peter Haan, 2006. "Much ado about nothing: conditional logit vs. random coefficient models for estimating labour supply elasticities," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 251-256.
    5. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Household Taxation, Income Splitting and Labor Supply Incentives – A Microsimulation Study for Germany," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 50(3), pages 541-568.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    labor supply; micro simulation; family policy; income taxation; Austria; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2007_11. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (René Böheim). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.