Female Employment Patterns, Fertility, Labor Market Reforms, and Social Norms: A Dynamic Treatment Approach


At a time of demographic changes, internationalization, structural economic changes, and changing gender role attitudes, female employment patterns and in particular the combination of labor market and family work are of major interest both in research and in the policy debate. Female employment biographies may involve quite heterogeneous patterns with different employment states at various points of their life-cycle. Employment decisions are often associated with child-rearing labor, but also with family income and a spouse’s career path. Entering parenthood and engaging in child-rearing dynamically affects mother’s and father’s short-term and long-term wage and earnings paths. From a firm’s perspective an employee’s exit due to the birth of a child alters hiring decisions and may affect the careers of coworkers. Reforms of family policies and labor market regulations potentially influence the decisions of the workers and the firms and may have important consequences. In the second funding period the project will focus on the perspectives of the firm and of the couple. First, we will provide evidence on the effects of an exit due to the birth of a child on hiring decisions of the firm and on the careers of coworkers on which there is hardly any evidence so far. Second, we will contribute to the scarce literature investigating the effect of parenthood on the dynamics of the within couple earnings gap. Third, we plan to contribute to the literature on the effect of job displacement of her husband on a spouse’s career by focusing on her short-term and long-term career path making use of the advantages of administrative data.

Principal Investigators

Prof. Bernd Fitzenberger, PhD (Humboldt University Berlin)
Prof. Dr. Marie Paul (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Associated Junior Researchers

Fabian Dehos (RWI)
Laura Janisch (RWI)
Sophie-Charlotte Klose (University of Duisburg)
Marina Furdas (Humboldt University Berlin)