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Maybe Baby: Comparing Partnered Women's Employment and Child Policies in the EU-15

Jerome De Henau, Danièle Meulders and Síle O'Dorchai ()

Feminist Economics, 2010, vol. 16, issue 1, 43-77

Abstract: This paper examines how child-related public policies influence women's employment in Europe. The analysis compares the difference in employment status between partnered mothers and nonmothers across the EU-15 using a wide range of self-constructed indicators of child policies such as childcare provision, parental leave, and tax-cash benefits. Using the recycled predictions method, it is possible to isolate the impact of the presence of a child from other characteristics likely to influence women's labor-market outcomes. Country-specific employment gaps among women are computed at different ages for the youngest child, for different outcomes (inactivity and part-time or full-time work), and for different levels of education. The main conclusion is that when it comes to securing equal labor-market access and conditions for mothers of young children and non-mothers, public childcare provision has the strongest impact. In the absence of public childcare, not even the most highly educated mothers can cope.

Keywords: Labor-market conditions; social policies; postponement of maternity; synthetic indicators; dual-earner couples; fertility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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