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Women's Fertility and Employment Decisions under Two Political Systems - Comparing East and West Germany before Reunification

Author

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  • Bredtmann, Julia
  • Kluve, Jochen
  • Schaffner, Sandra

Abstract

Over the last decades fertility rates have decreased in most developed countries, while female labour force participation has increased strongly over the same time period. To shed light on the relationship between women's fertility and employment decisions, we analyse their transitions to the first, second, and third child as well as their employment discontinuities following childbirth. Using new longitudinal datasets that cover the work and family life of women in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) allows for taking into account two political regimes and drawing conclusions about the relevance of institutional factors for fertility and employment decisions. Our results suggest that in both parts of Germany women's probability of having a first child is negatively correlated with both employment and educational achievement. Regarding second and third birth risks, this negative correlation weakens. Analysing women's time spent out of the labour market following childbirth we find that in the East almost all mothers return to work within 18 months after birth. In the West, however, this proportion is much smaller and at the age when the child starts nursery school or school, women re-enter the labour market at higher rates. These results point to a strong influence of institutional circumstances, specifically the extent of public daycare provision. A multivariate analysis reveals a strong correlation between a woman's employment status prior to birth and her probability of re-entering the labour market afterwards.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:149
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. FFF1Michaela NNN1Kreyenfeld, 2004. "Fertility Decisions in the FRG and GDR: An Analysis with Data from the German Fertility and Family Survey," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(11), pages 275-318, April.
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    5. Kluve, Jochen & Tamm, Marcus, 2009. "Now Daddy's Changing Diapers and Mommy's Making Her Career: Evaluating a Generous Parental Leave Regulation Using a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Kluve, Jochen & Tamm, Marcus, 2013. "Parental leave regulations, mothers' labor force attachment and fathers' childcare involvement: evidence from a natural experiment," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 983-1005.
    2. Hanel Barbara & Riphahn Regina T., 2012. "The Employment of Mothers – Recent Developments and their Determinants in East and West Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(2), pages 146-176, April.
    3. repec:zbw:rwirep:0206 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Drasch, Katrin, 2012. "Between familial imprinting and institutional regulation: Family related employment interruptions of women in Germany before and after the German reunification," IAB Discussion Paper 201209, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    5. Michaela Kreyenfeld & Anja Vatterrott, 2013. "Geschlechtsspezifische Arbeitsmarktsegregation und Geburtenverhalten: neue Befunde auf Basis der „Biografiedaten ausgewählter Sozialversicherungsträger in Deutschland“ (BASiD)," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2013-009, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. repec:spr:jlabrs:v:50:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s12651-017-0226-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Alfredo R. Paloyo, 2010. "Compulsory Military Service in Germany Revisited," Ruhr Economic Papers 0206, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    8. Paloyo, Alfredo R., 2010. "Compulsory Military Service in Germany Revisited," Ruhr Economic Papers 206, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Female labour force participation; fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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