Discovering and explaining work-family strategies of parents in Luxembourg

Nevena Zhelyazkova

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Abstract

The presented analysis discovers and explains typical patterns of
work-family reconciliation for parents who had a child in the same
period (2003) and in the same country (Luxembourg), thus facing the same
macroeconomic and institutional conditions. Work-family trajectories are
reconstructed as sequences of states using administrative records, so
that working hours and use of leave provisions or other social security
benefits are taken into account. Next, a clustering algorithm is applied
to identify typical patterns. The analysis reveals that when the birth
of a child is positioned as a pivotal point in the work-family
trajectory, it appears to be a transition point for about a third of the
female trajectories. For these women the event marks the beginning of a
long-term reduction of labour participation manifested either in
reducing the number of hours of work or in leaving the labour force. On
the contrary, the career trajectories of working fathers are stable
across time and for the majority of fathers there are no marked
differences in work-force participation before and after the birth of a
child. In the final stage of analysis available explanatory variables
are linked to derived types of career profiles via a multinomial logit
model. Work and family-related variables are used to test the hypothesis
that women make a decision on reducing their labour market participation
based on comparing the values of their time at home and the opportunity
cost of not working. The results are in line with this reasoning for
explaining the pattern of leaving the labour force after birth of a
child. However, economic reasoning does not seem to explain the pattern
of reducing the number of hours per week after the birth of a child.

Keywords: work-family reconciliation; parental leave; labour supply of women
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
PublisherUNU-MERIT
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Publication series

SeriesUNU-MERIT Working Papers
Number022

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