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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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5. Research methodology: Measuring the Effects of ESCC


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5.  Research methodology: Measuring the Effects of ESCC

5.1  Research objectives and questions

The goal of this thesis is to provide a comprehensive overview of the effects of ESCC on the employment rates of mothers and answer the question if mothers who are working for employers with ESCC are more likely to increase their working behavior than mothers whose employer does not offer ESCC.

The operationalization of “work behavior” is important here. Within the field of impact evaluations, work behavior can be analyzed in two different ways: firstly, it can be measured in terms of quantifiable work output. This implies for instance working time in terms of working volume, time-to-return-to-job after work interruptions, and productivity. Since productivity is often hard to measure (except for working on assembly lines), the working time is often taken as an alternative measurement. Secondly, it can be traced in working attitude. The working attitude might be measured in terms of job satisfaction, turnover intentions, or work-life conflicts, according to Cropanzano and Mitchell (2005). While the quantifiable work output is often analyzed with micro data of employees, the working attitude is mainly investigated with qualitative questionnaires. This thesis approaches the working behavior in terms of quantifiable output, meaning the working interruption per se and the working volume.

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