Getting back into the labor market: The effects of start-up subsidies for unemployed females

M. Caliendo*, S. Künn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Low female labor market participation is a problem many developed countries have to face. Beside activating inactive women, one possible solution is to support the re-integration of unemployed women. Due to female-specific labor market constraints (preferences for flexible working hours, discrimination), this is a difficult task, and the question arises whether active labor market policies (ALMP) are an appropriate tool to help. It has been shown that the effectiveness of traditional (ALMP) programs—which focus on the integration in dependent (potentially inflexible) employment—is positive but limited. At the same time, recent evidence for Austria shows that these programs reduce fertility which might be judged unfavorable from a societal perspective. Promoting self-employment among unemployed women might therefore be a promising alternative. Starting their own business might give women more independence and flexibility to reconcile work and family and increase labor market participation. Based on long-term informative data, we find that start-up programs persistently integrate former unemployed women into the labor market, and the impact on fertility is less detrimental than for traditional ALMP programs.

data source: German admin and survey data
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1043
JournalJournal of Population Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


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