Impact of cultural and structural factors on labour force participation of mothers in Italy and Norway

Magdalena Muszynska, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

In this study we address the question concerning the circumstances under which motherhood and employment are compatible. Comparing two countries, Italy and Norway, we analyse impact of macro and individual characteristics on employment decisions of first- and second-time mothers. In addition, we compare the opportunities and constrains to reconcile family and work and describe the development of female labour force participation and fertility in both countries. Results of the study show that motherhood and employment are not necessary conflicting careers. In a society,which supports labour force participation of women, not only mothers' employment is higher but also more children are born. Although the general level of opportunity costs of childbearing differs between countries, mother's individual characteristics have similar effect on employment entries. Opportunity costs of childbearing are the lowest among women with high stock of human capital - well educated, with long work experience.

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Presented in Poster Session 2