Adieu Rabenmutter - The Effect of Culture on Fertility, Female Labour Supply, the Gender Wage Gap and Childcare

Adieu Rabenmutter - The Effect of Culture on Fertility, Female Labour Supply, the Gender Wage Gap and Childcare

Abstract in English: 

By Rainald Borck, Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
January 31, 2011, CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3337

By Rainald Borck, Humboldt University of Berlin - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
January 31, 2011, CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3337

Abstract:
"This paper studies the effect of cultural attitudes on childcare provision, fertility, female labour supply and the gender wage gap. Cross-country data show that fertility, female labour force participation and childcare are positively correlated with each other, while the gender wage gap seems to be negatively correlated with these variables. The paper presents a model with endogenous fertility, female labour supply and childcare choices which fits these facts. There may exist multiple equilibria: one with zero childcare provision, low fertility and female labour supply and high wage gap, and one with high childcare provision, high fertility and female labour supply and low wage gap."

One of the conclusions:
"What are the implications of the model for policy makers? One obvious remark is that increased childcare provision may not affect fertility or female labour supply if a society’s attitude towards external childcare remains unchanged. However, while this outcome may seem bleak to politicians, the link between attitudes and policies also opens up a channel for influencing fertility and female labour force participation. In particular, if politicians could somehow affect society’s expectations, they might induce a country to switch from a low-childcare equilibrium to a high-childcare equilibrium." (Page 30)

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