Who follows whom? Female part-time employment in West Germany, East Germany and Poland

Anna Matysiak, Warsaw School of Economics
Stephanie Steinmetz, Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES) and Mannheim University

The objective of the paper is to answer the question how much women in post-socialist countries adopted the Western employment patterns. This issue is important taking into account changes in the labour market and family policies experienced by the post-socialist countries that resulted in strengthening the conflict between family and work and consequently in a severe drop in fertility. The research issue is addressed by comparing Poland, East and West Germany and implementing multinomial logit models on the labour force data for the years 1996 and 2001. Special attention is paid to the development of part-time employment. Our results reveal some adoption of the West German employment patterns by East German women. This is reflected in the rise in the importance of part-time employment among East German mothers as well as the negative effect of the fact of being married and husband’s income on the number of hours women work. However, the child, marriage and husband’s income effects are much weaker than in West Germany. Moreover, in the former GDR mothers are still less prone to withdraw from employment than in the former FRG and return into work more quickly. It points out at still relatively high labour market orientation of East German women. In Poland, due to a lack of part-time jobs, rather a polarisation between full-time employment and non-employment is observed among mothers. Nevertheless, there is no evidence for a marriage or husband’s income effect on female employment, again suggesting high female labour market attachment.

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Presented in Poster Session 1

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