My university just released a press release regarding my new publication in the Journal of Marriage and Family. The original release can be found on their website.
The press release in full:
Research carried out by the University of Twente’s Rense Nieuwenhuis, Prof. Ariana Need and Dr Henk van der Kolk shows that if government policy makes it possible for women to combine work and family, it will also strengthen their presence in the labour market. Contrastingly, family policy that specifically focuses on financially supporting families (specifically child benefits) leads to lower rates of employment for mothers. The researchers are affiliated with the ‘Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies’ (IGS) at the university.
In their research, Nieuwenhuis, Need and Van der Kolk compared 18 countries from 1975 to 1999. They investigated whether rates of employment among mothers increased over time.
In most countries, the extent to which women combined work and family increased during the period from 1975 to 1999. In the Netherlands, for example, it appeared that there was a gradual increase in mothers combining work and family. In Denmark, the difference between mothers and women without children during this period was very small, and the difference remained stable. In the former West Germany and Portugal, the difference in employment rates between mothers and women without children actually increased. The research shows, amongst other things, that government policy can explain the differences and changes discovered with regard to rates of employment among women.
According to Nieuwenhuis: “Our research results make it apparent that policies aimed at combining work and family, such as maternity and parental leave, decrease the difference in employment rates between mothers and women without children. When a country offers lots of child benefit to families, mothers in fact work less.
PhD candidate Rense Nieuwenhuis works for the ‘Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies’ (IGS) at the University of Twente (UT). He carries out research into the consequences of government policy focused on combining the responsibilities of work and family. His supervisors are UT Professor of Sociology of Public Administration Ariana Need, and Dr Henk van der Kolk, a senior lecturer at the university.
The research article ‘Institutional and Demographic Explanations of Women’s Employment in 18 OECD Countries, 1975-1999’ was published in the June 2012 edition of the renowned Journal of Marriage and Family.