Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

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Zertifikat "audit berufundfamilie"

Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Kulturelle und strukturelle Faktoren bei der Rückkehr in den Beruf



"We assess the relative impact of cultural norms and structural conditions on employment interruption patterns of new mothers in reunified Germany, 1992-2009. During this time, East and West Germany share similar family policies, yet, the regions differ markedly with regard to cultural orientations towards working mothers. Our comparison therefore allows drawing conclusions about the relative importance of structural and cultural factors in shaping patterns of individual behaviour. New mothers who were born and raised in the east, but had their first child after moving to the west provide us with key insights in this respect. We test three cultural mechanisms which seek to explain the distinct behaviour of east-west mobile mothers, relative to their immobile peers: selection, adaptation and socialization. Our results show that eastwest mobile mothers return to work faster than West German mothers, but more slowly than East German mothers. The longer east-west mobile mothers have lived in western Germany prior to the birth of their first child, the more similar they behave to West German mothers. We interpret this as evidence of successive adaptation. In addition we find evidence of socialization-based similarities among mothers who grew up in the eastern part of Germany. These similarities between the mobile and immobile eastern German peers only become apparent after controlling for regional context differences." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Further information


Bibliographical information

Grunow, Daniela; Müller, Dana (2012): Transition back to work : comparing mothers in eastern Germany, western Germany, and east-west mobile mothers. (IAB-Discussion Paper, 02/2012), Nürnberg, 32 p.