Maybe baby: comparing partnered women's employment and child policies in the EU-15

De Henau, Jérôme; Meulders, Danièle and O'Dorchai, Síle (2010). Maybe baby: comparing partnered women's employment and child policies in the EU-15. Feminist Economics, 16(1) pp. 43–77.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13545700903382703

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 non-mothers 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.

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