IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/jrp/jrpwrp/2017-015.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Woman and the labour market in East and West Germany: Socialist legacy and pre-socialist tradition

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Wyrwich

    (FSU Jena)

Abstract

There is a large and successful literature exploiting the division and re-unification of Germany as a natural experiment for analysing the effects of political regimes on economic behaviour. This paper contributes to this literature by reassessing the role of legacy effects of socialist labour market policies for explaining the much higher female labour force participation (FLFP) in East Germany as compared to West Germany. The starting point of the analysis is the empirical pattern that FLFP was already higher in the East before German separation. Applying difference-in-differences analyses on participation rates shows that there is, if anything, only a small long-term socialist treatment effect. Apparently, there is no effect in areas that have been either rural or heavily industrialized before German separation. In line with previous research, this study finds that there is an East German mark-up for social acceptance of maternal employment. An additional and novel finding of this study is that current social acceptance of maternal employment is also driven by pre-war differences in female labour supply. This corresponds to a remarkable mark-up of married East German women in the labour market before German separation that is also descriptively shown in the paper. Overall, the results suggest that potential legacy effects of socialism on attitudes toward working women do not necessarily translate into meaningful East-West differences in terms of actual female labour force participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Wyrwich, 2017. "Woman and the labour market in East and West Germany: Socialist legacy and pre-socialist tradition," Jena Economic Research Papers 2017-015, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2017-015
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www2.wiwi.uni-jena.de/Papers/jerp2017/wp_2017_015.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Heineck, Guido & Süssmuth, Bernd, 2013. "A different look at Lenin’s legacy: Social capital and risk taking in the Two Germanies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 789-803.
    2. Elizabeth Brainerd, 2000. "Women in Transition: Changes in Gender Wage Differentials in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 138-162, October.
    3. Rainer, Helmut & Siedler, Thomas, 2009. "Does democracy foster trust?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 251-269, June.
    4. Joshua R. Goldstein & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2011. "Has East Germany Overtaken West Germany? Recent Trends in Order‐Specific Fertility," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 37(3), pages 453-472, September.
    5. Raquel Fernandez, 2007. "Women, Work, and Culture," NBER Working Papers 12888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lídia Farré & Francis Vella, 2013. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Role Attitudes and its Implications for Female Labour Force Participation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(318), pages 219-247, April.
    7. Alberto Alesina & Nicola Fuchs-Schundeln, 2005. "Good bye Lenin (or not?): The effect of Communism on people's preferences," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2076, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    8. Goldin, Claudia, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women’s Employment, Education, and Family," Scholarly Articles 2943933, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. repec:iab:iabfda:201603(en is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Stefan Bauernschuster & Helmut Rainer, 2012. "Political regimes and the family: how sex-role attitudes continue to differ in reunified Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 5-27, January.
    11. Schmucker, Alexandra & Seth, Stefan & Ludsteck, Johannes & Eberle, Johanna & Ganzer, Andreas, 2016. "Betriebs-Historik-Panel 1975-2014 (Establishment History Panel 1975-2014)," FDZ Datenreport. Documentation on Labour Market Data 201603_de, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    12. Pamela Campa & Michel Serafinelli, 2019. "Politico-Economic Regimes and Attitudes: Female Workers under State Socialism," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 233-248, May.
    13. Alessandra Fogli & Laura Veldkamp, 2011. "Nature or Nurture? Learning and the Geography of Female Labor Force Participation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(4), pages 1103-1138, July.
    14. Schmucker, Alexandra & Seth, Stefan & Ludsteck, Johannes & Eberle, Johanna & Ganzer, Andreas, 2016. "Establishment History Panel 1975-2014," FDZ Datenreport. Documentation on Labour Market Data 201603_en, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    15. Jurajda, Stepan, 2003. "Gender wage gap and segregation in enterprises and the public sector in late transition countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 199-222, June.
    16. Lynn Duggan, 1995. "Restacking the deck: Family policy and women's fall-back position in Germany before and after unification," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 175-194.
    17. Berliner, Joseph S., 1989. "Soviet female labor participation: A regional cross-section analysis," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 446-472, September.
    18. Dora L. Costa, 2000. "From Mill Town to Board Room: The Rise of Women's Paid Labor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 101-122, Fall.
    19. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Taber, 2011. "Inference with "Difference in Differences" with a Small Number of Policy Changes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 113-125, February.
    20. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 1-21, May.
    21. Dimsdale, Nicholas H. & Horsewood, Nicholas & Van Riel, Arthur, 2006. "Unemployment in Interwar Germany: An Analysis of the Labor Market, 1927–1936," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 778-808, September.
    22. Elke Holst & Anna Wieber, 2014. "Bei der Erwerbstätigkeit der Frauen liegt Ostdeutschland vorn," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 81(40), pages 967-975.
    23. Tipton, Frank B., 1974. "Farm Labor and Power Politics: Germany, 1850–1914," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 34(4), pages 951-979, December.
    24. Maier, Friederike, 1993. "The Labour Market for Women and Employment Perspectives in the Aftermath of German Unification," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 267-280, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Sascha O. Becker & Lukas Mergele & Ludger Woessmann, 2020. "The Separation and Reunification of Germany: Rethinking a Natural Experiment Interpretation of the Enduring Effects of Communism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 143-171, Spring.
    2. Sascha O. Becker & Lukas Mergele & Ludger Woessmann, 2020. "The Separation and Reunification of Germany: Rethinking a Natural Experiment Interpretation of the Enduring Effects of Communism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 143-171, Spring.
    3. Beblo, Miriam & Görges, Luise, 2018. "On the nature of nurture. The malleability of gender differences in work preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 19-41.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Wyrwich, Michael, 2019. "Women and the labour market in East and West Germany: The role of socialist legacy and pre-socialist tradition," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203572, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Wyrwich, Michael, 2015. "Differences in female labor force participation in East and West Germany: Socialist legacy and pre-socialist tradition," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113083, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Helmut Rainer & Clara Albrecht & Stefan Bauernschuster & Anita Fichtl & Timo Hener & Joachim Ragnitz, 2018. "Deutschland 2017 - Studie zu den Einstellungen und Verhaltensweisen der Bürgerinnen und Bürger im vereinigten Deutschland," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 96, August.
    4. Beblo, Miriam & Görges, Luise, 2018. "On the nature of nurture. The malleability of gender differences in work preferences," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 19-41.
    5. Claudia Olivetti & Eleonora Patacchini & Yves Zenou, 2020. "Mothers, Peers, and Gender-Role Identity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 266-301.
    6. Francesco Giavazzi & Ivan Petkov & Fabio Schiantarelli, 2019. "Culture: persistence and evolution," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 117-154, June.
    7. Görges, Luise & Beblo, Miriam, 2015. "Breaking down the wall between nature and nurture: An exploration of gendered work preferences in East and West Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112825, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Sascha O. Becker & Lukas Mergele & Ludger Woessmann, 2020. "The Separation and Reunification of Germany: Rethinking a Natural Experiment Interpretation of the Enduring Effects of Communism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 143-171, Spring.
    9. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2017. "Family Economics Writ Large," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1346-1434, December.
    10. Stefania Albanesi & Aysegul Sahin, 2018. "The Gender Unemployment Gap," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 30, pages 47-67, October.
    11. Dilmaghani, Maryam, 2021. "The gender gap in competitive chess across countries: Commanding queens in command economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 425-441.
    12. Lippmann, Quentin & Senik, Claudia, 2018. "Math, girls and socialism," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 874-888.
    13. Bhalotra, Sonia & Fernandez Sierra, Manuel, 2018. "The distribution of the gender wage gap," ISER Working Paper Series 2018-10, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    14. Perugini, Cristiano & Vladisavljević, Marko, 2019. "Gender inequality and the gender-job satisfaction paradox in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 129-147.
    15. Quentin Lippmann & Alexandre Georgieff & Claudia Senik, 2020. "Undoing Gender with Institutions: Lessons from the German Division and Reunification," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(629), pages 1445-1470.
    16. Victor Gay, 2017. "The Legacy of the Missing Men: The Long-Run Impact of World War I on Female Labor Force Participation," 2017 Papers pga905, Job Market Papers.
    17. Tim Friehe & Markus Pannenberg, 2020. "Time preferences and political regimes: evidence from reunified Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(1), pages 349-387, January.
    18. Mahmoud Salari, 2020. "Culture and heritage language: a study of female labor force participation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 285-306, June.
    19. Sascha O. Becker & Lukas Mergele & Ludger Woessmann, 2020. "The Separation and Reunification of Germany: Rethinking a Natural Experiment Interpretation of the Enduring Effects of Communism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 143-171, Spring.
    20. Pannenberg, Markus & Friehe, Tim & Wedow, Michael, 2015. "Let Bygones be Bygones? Political Regimes and Personalities in Germany," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112841, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Female labour force participation; Gender; Attitudes toward work; Regional labour markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • N34 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - Europe: 1913-
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics
    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:jrp:jrpwrp:2017-015. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.wiwiss.uni-jena.de/ .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Markus Pasche (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.wiwiss.uni-jena.de/ .

    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.