A Multilevel Analysis of Child Care and the Transition to Motherhood in Western Germany

DIW Discussion Paper No. 290

32 Pages Posted: 15 May 2003

See all articles by Karsten Hank

Karsten Hank

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA); University of Mannheim

Michaela Kreyenfeld

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Date Written: July 2002

Abstract

In this paper, we take a multilevel perspective to investigate the role of child care in the transition to motherhood in Germany. We argue that in the European institutional context the availability of public day care and informal child care arrangements should be a central element of the local opportunity structure regarding the compatibility of childrearing and women's employment. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we apply a multilevel discrete time logit model to estimate first birth risks of western German women. While we find that access to informal care arrangements increases the probability of entering parenthood, we do not find any statistically significant effect of the public day care provision. This result probably points to shortcomings in the specific institutional set-up of the German day-care regime, and to the existence of potentially relevant unobserved dimensions of child care.

Keywords: child care, fertility, multilevel analysis, Germany

JEL Classification: J13

Suggested Citation

Hank, Karsten and Kreyenfeld, Michaela, A Multilevel Analysis of Child Care and the Transition to Motherhood in Western Germany (July 2002). DIW Discussion Paper No. 290, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=380783 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.380783

Karsten Hank (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA) ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

University of Mannheim ( email )

68131 Mannheim
Germany

Michaela Kreyenfeld

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research ( email )

Doberaner Str. 114
Rostock 18057, 53113
Germany

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