What Drives Mothers' Decisions to Work in Europe ? a Multilevel Analysis

Laurène Thil , BETA - University of Strasbourg

Across European countries, huge variations in mothers' working time still exist. Three main factors can explain these differences: mothers' characteristics, family policies design and the prevailing gender culture. Based on EU-SILC longitudinal data and ISSP surveys for 13 European countries and using multilevel models, this paper aims at explaining the role of these three factors on mothers' working time two years after a birth. We take into account two levels of analysis, the individuals and the countries. The results indicate that country-level variables explain about 16% of the difference in the number of hours worked by mothers across countries. Regarding individuals' characteristics, older mothers and mothers in a relationship with a high educated partner tend to work less whereas richer and higher educated mothers are more likely to work more. At the country level, our results suggest that public spending in early education but also gender norms impact the number of hours worked.

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 Presented in Session P3. Poster Session Migration, Economics, Environment, Methods, History and Policy