Maternal Employment and Happiness: The Effect of Non-Participation and Part-Time Employment on Mothers' Life Satisfaction

31 Pages Posted: 14 May 2009 Last revised: 27 Aug 2009

See all articles by Eva M. Berger

Eva M. Berger

University of Mainz - Gutenberg School of Economics and Management

Date Written: May 1, 2009

Abstract

"In contrast to unemployment, the effect of non-participation and parttime employment on subjective well-being has much less frequently been the subject of economists' investigations. In Germany, many women with dependent children are involuntarily out of the labor force or in part-time employment because of family constraints (e.g., due to lack of available and appropriate childcare). Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) Study, this paper analyzes the impact of involuntary familyrelated non-participation and part-time employment on mothers' life satisfaction. Controlling for unobserved individual fixed effects, I find that both the pecuniary effects (foregone earnings) and the non-pecuniary effects (psychological costs) are significantly negative.

Compensating income variations reveal that the residual household income would have to be raised by 182 percent (157 percent/77 percent) in order to just offset the negative effect of not being able to work because of family constraints (of being in short/long part-time employment). Moreover, in terms of overall happiness among mothers, non-participation is revealed to be a more serious problem than unemployment.

Keywords: Subjective well-being, life satisfaction, labor force participation

JEL Classification: I31, J21, J22

Suggested Citation

Berger, Eva M., Maternal Employment and Happiness: The Effect of Non-Participation and Part-Time Employment on Mothers' Life Satisfaction (May 1, 2009). SOEPpaper No. 178; DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 890. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1403225 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1403225

Eva M. Berger (Contact Author)

University of Mainz - Gutenberg School of Economics and Management ( email )

Mainz
Germany

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
181
Abstract Views
855
rank
164,085
PlumX Metrics