Just a quick heads-up, to share that I will be presenting a paper at the ‘Day of Sociology‘ in Gent (Belgium) on May 26th. The presentation is called “Institutional and Demographic Explanations of Women’s Employment in 14 OECD countries, 1975-1999“. So, if you are there as well, let’s meet up!
In this study we integrate demographic and institutional explanations of women’s employment, arguing that cross-national variation in women’s employment rates can be explained by a combination of institutional contexts facilitating the reconciliation of motherhood and employment, and demographic composition. For industrialized countries, we answer the questions (i.) to what degree motherhood and employment are reconciled, and how the interplay between demographic and institutional factors can explain both (ii.) variation in the degree to which motherhood and employment are combined, and (iii.) variation in women’s employment rates.
We pooled a large number of cross-sectional surveys, covering 14 OECD countries, over 180.000 observations, and 288 country-years. These data were enriched with measures of institutional context and analyzed using multilevel logistic regression.
Our findings indicate that motherhood and women’s employment are being combined more frequently in most, but not all countries. Even after controlling for the degree to which motherhood is combined with employment in a country, we find that women are more likely to be employed when single and higher educated, and living in a country with long periods of childcare leave, low family tax benefits, large service sector, and low unemployment. Motherhood and employment were reconciled to a greater extent in countries with long maternity leave, high female wages, low pay during leave, low family allowance, and low family tax benefits. Finally, we conclude that variation between countries in women’s employment rates are better explained by institutional context, whereas variation in employment within countries is best explained by demographic indicators.