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HR Policies and Maternal Labor Supply

The Example of Employer-Supported Childcare


Susanne Schneider

The author asks how far the extension of employer-supported childcare serves as a driver for higher maternal labor supply. She addresses this question by categorizing employer-supported childcare as an efficiency wage introduced by the employer to increase the working volume of mothers. Applying various impact evaluation techniques in an econometric analysis, the author concludes that the availability of employer-supported childcare has a positive impact on the length and working volume of mothers who return back to work after giving birth. Furthermore, the usage of employer-supported childcare by mothers with pre-school age children influences the amount of agreed and actual working hours positively.

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4. The Theoretical Construct of ESCC


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4.  The Theoretical Construct of ESCC

The goal of this chapter is the design of a suitable theoretical framework. The literature review on ESCC identified three main groups regarding the theoretical contextualization of ESCC in dependence on the outcome variables. Firstly, some studies (for instance Casper & Buffardi (2004), Ratnasingram, Spitzmueller, King, Rubino, Luksyte, Matthew & Fisher (2012)) analyze the effect of ESCC on intentions to pursue or quit a job by means of the organizational support theory (Eisenberger, Fasolo, & Davis-Lamastro, 1990). The organizational support theory is rooted in the social exchange theory by Blau (1964). Secondly, there are studies which refer explicitly to the social exchange theory. Feierabend and Staffelbach (2015) as well as Gullekson, Griffith, Vancouver, Kovner, and Cohen (2014) use the theory by Blau to investigate the effect of ESCC on organizational commitment. Both groups of researchers analyze the impact of ESCC on non-material returns for the employer. This means, that there is no direct economic benefit for the employer, but rather a cultivation of a relationship between employer and employee. In the social exchange theory, the return of the employee to the job is defined as being non-material, meaning that it is mainly reflected in the commitment of employees towards their employer (Cropanzano & Mitchell, 2005). Work output, then, is not measured directly in terms of productivity or working time, but rather indirectly through measuring loyalty. The third group investigates the effect of ESCC on employees’ perceptions of work-life...

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