Ethnic and Other Parental Differences in the Life Course Patterns of Young Adult Women Born in Germany

Cristina Samper Mejia , Hertie School in Berlin

This paper examines the employment and family formation biographies of young women born in Germany between 1950 and 1987. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) we follow them from age 15 until age 30. Making use of sequence analysis tools, by clustering, we identify four ‘typical’ employment trajectories followed by women in their young adulthood. Half of the women show a smooth transition between ages 20 and 25 from education to sustained full time employment. The other half follow more complex paths with long education, later part-time or non-employment. They also show earlier transitions into family formation. An analysis on cluster affiliation shows that differences in paths exist between women of different parental origin. In particular, women with migration background are more likely to follow biographies of part time, long education, or non-employment after compulsory schooling. Second-generation Turkish women show a high probability (30%) of following a non-employment path. Some of these differences can be explained by group level socio-economic factors, but they are to a great extent related to group differences in family formation behavior.

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 Presented in Session 108. Life Course