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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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8. Conclusion


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8.  Conclusion

This thesis explored ESCC. Throughout the last century, ESCC has been provided by companies to their employees as an amenity. However, it was merely a benefit of minor impact. In recent years, still a rather minor issue in the field of childcare studies, it acquired substantial attention mainly due to the growing importance of the reconciliation of family and work. This thesis investigated the role of ESCC for maternal labor supply employing gift-exchange theory, a theory rooted in the fact that an employer is able to raise work norms by paying workers a gift in excess of the required minimum in return for an effort above the minimum required. Previously, gift-exchange theory has rarely been used in the context of maternal labor supply, which required that the theoretical framework be extended systematically by adding several factors that may be influencing maternal labor supply.

The main results of the thesis can be summarized as follows. Mothers re-enter work faster when the employer is providing ESCC before giving birth. For instance, around 24 months after childbirth, above 75 percent of mothers employed in companies with ESCC and 47 percent of the mothers employed in companies without ESCC are entering employment again. Furthermore, there is a substantial shift of mothers working part-time instead of having a minijob after childbirth. The working volume of mothers is positively influenced by ESCC when the mothers are actually using it. The effect is higher for the actual...

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