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Journal Article

Mothers' employment participation: the role of partner involvement and selection processes

Authors

Publication date

23 Jan 2021

Summary

Objective:
This paper examines how a couple's division of housework and child care affects mothers' postnatal work hours, taking into account selection processes.
Background:
Past research on mothers' employment suggests that male partners' involvement in domestic work is positively associated with mothers' employment participation. However, it is unknown to what extent this association is driven by selection processes, rather than partner behavior. This paper examines whether selection processes may jointly determine a couple's division of domestic work and a mother's postnatal work hours, and therefore account for the relationship between partner involvement in domestic work and a mother's work hours.
Method:
Using data from the 1991 to 2008 waves of the British Household Panel, this study employs structural equation modeling and fixed effects regression. The analyses account for multiple characteristics that may determine women's selection into egalitarian work–family arrangements.
Results:
The findings show that selection effects do indeed play a role: The male partner's involvement in housework and child care does not significantly affect most mothers' postnatal work hours when selection effects are taken into account. Only mothers who are highly disadvantaged on the labor market—those with low income and educational attainment—benefit from the partner's involvement in child care, but not housework, in terms of their postnatal employment.
Conclusion:
Mothers who are strongly disadvantaged on the labor market benefit most from family policies that encourage their partner's involvement in child care.

Published in

Journal of Marriage and the Family

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12755

ISSN

16

Subjects

Labour Market, Childbearing: Fertility, Sociology Of Households, and Caregiving

Links

University of Essex, Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to University of Essex registered users* - https://lib.essex.ac.uk/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1585092

Notes

Online Early

#526548


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