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Social Policies, Labour Markets and Motherhood
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Book description

The relationship between fertility and the participation rate of women in the workforce is an increasingly important area of study for economists, demographers and policy-makers. Recent data show important differences in the relationship between employment rates of women and fertility across Europe. For example, in southern Europe, low fertility rates are combined with low rates of female participation. In contrast, Nordic countries are experiencing relatively high fertility rates combined with high female labour market participation. Social Policies, Labour Markets and Motherhood analyses the effects of policies aimed to reconcile motherhood and labour market participation. Making extensive use of European Community Household Panel data, it compares the outcomes of policies in several European countries, analysing why they succeed in some environments but not in others. It will be of interest to researchers, policy-makers and graduate students working on labour markets, population economics, demography and the methodology of applied microeconomics.


Review of the hardback:‘This collection is poised to become a widely-cited reference on the complex interplay between maternal employment, fertility, and public policies in Europe. The meticulous empirical work effectively assesses the impact of policies on these crucial behavioral outcomes. Moreover, the rich policy data presented will surely be used by countless comparative researchers in their own analyses of cross-national policy variation and/or policy effects. This book ought to command the interest of all micro-economists and demographers, in Europe and elsewhere, concerned with the effects of institutions on women’s employment or family formation.’

Janet C. Gornick - Professor of Sociology and Political Science, City University of New York, irector, Luxembourg Income Study

Review of the hardback:‘Recognition that social institutions shape people’s behaviour is widespread among social scientists. What we lack is measures of these institutions, particularly on a comparable basis across many countries. The important contribution of this is book is to fill this gap. Written by sociologists, economists and policy analysts, it provides measures of the institutions particularly relevant to women’s paid work and motherhood, and shows how they vary across countries. Importantly, it also analyses how they influence women’s behaviour in the labour market and the home.’

John Ermisch FBA - Professor of Economics, University of Essex

Review of the hardback:‘Aimed at understanding the nexus between the different fertility rates and the different patterns of women’s labour market participation, this book is a substantial contribution to welfare state theory and research. Written by a group of brilliant economists, it is also a must-read for sociologists and political scientists.’

Chiara Saraceno - Professor of Sociology, University of Turin

Review of the hardback:‘The financial crisis of public pension systems and rocketing welfare expenditure have put fertility and female labour market participation at the centre of the policy debate. The present volume focuses on a particular aspect of this complex phenomenon, namely the nexus between fertility and labour market flexibility, and its relation with national policies towards the family. This book provides welcome relief from the facile explanations one often has to hear in the public debate.’

Alessandro Cigno - Professor of Economics, University of Florence

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