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Guido Buenstorf (University of Kassel)

6 May 2022 @ 12:30 - 13:30


  • Past event


6 May 2022
12:30 - 13:30
Event Category:
Academic Events

“Lacking opportunities? Subsidized child care infrastructure, full-time employment among female doctoral degree holders, and social norms in Germany”


Shortages of highly skilled workers challenge innovation and growth in various industrialized countries. Increasing labor market participation of highly educated women may contribute to addressing this challenge. To help women expand their employment volume, public investments in child care facilities have been advocated as policy measures. However, we know little about how sensitive the labor supply of highly educated women is to the availability of subsidized child care. Parental decisions about work and child care reflect internalized social norms that potentially limit the short- and medium-term impact of public policies. We use a large process-generated dataset to explore the link between public child care infrastructure and the likelihood of full-time employment of female doctorate holders with young children in Germany. Due to the division of Germany before 1990, women in our sample were exposed to strikingly different social norms about maternal employment in their own early childhood. Our results suggest that their present-day labor supply is affected by these social norms. Controlling for western versus eastern birthplaces, we find no robust evidence that highly educated mothers are more likely to work full-time in localities with better access to child care facilities.


Joint with Michaela Fuchs and Maria Theissen.