Return to work or transition to the next child? The behavior of eastern Germans, western Germans and East-West migrants

Anja Vatterrott, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Michaela Kreyenfeld, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

In this study, we analyze the return to work after childbirth in Germany. Special attention is given to the behavior of East German women who have migrated to western Germany. The motivation to focus on this group of women is that large East-West-differences in maternal employment patterns have prevailed. It has been argued that the differences may be explained by East-West-differences in the availability of public day care. Also differences in the attitudes towards employment have been cited for explaining divergent patterns of behavior. Studying the group of East-West migrants allows us to separate the role of these cultural and contextual factors in maternal employment choices. The great cultural overlap between the two regions facilitates a more direct comparison than in studies on international migrants. Data for this project comes from BASiD. BASiD is a large scale data set that contains linked data from the employment and pension registers. Detailed information on the region where pension rights have been earned make it possible to distinguish non-mobile East and West Germans and East-West and West-East migrants. In contrast to other datasets the BASiD data has a sufficiently large sample size to study East-to-West migrants separately. The population of interest are women who gave birth to their first children in the time period between 1990 and 2000. We apply event history models to analyse the transition to work after childbirth in a competing risk framework. The competing events are return to employment and birth of the second child.

Presented in Poster Session 2