AIAS Lunch Seminar, 23 juni: Janna Besamusca - University of Amsterdam, AIAS

Which women work: the effects of institutions on the employment of advantaged and disadvantaged mothers

Janna Besamusca

Day: Thursday 23 june 2016
Time: 12.15 – 13.15 hrs.
Location: AIAS, 4th floor Gijsbert van Tienhoven building, room 4.09, Roeterstraat 31, 1018 WB
Registration: Please send an email, preferably before Wednesday 22 June, 12.00 hrs. to register.
A sandwich will then be provided.


Mothers’ employment levels differ substantially between countries, as well as within them. Previous research has shown that these differences can be partly explained by economic inequality, gender ideologies and work-family policies. The intersection of these three domains restraints actors’ capabilities and the extent to which they conflict is co-dependent on mothers’ advantaged or disadvantaged position in society. Examining mothers’ employment in 23 countries, I ask (1) to what extent mothers’ odds of being employed vary between countries and between more and less advantaged groups and (2) in how far country variations in effect sizes are explained by economic, gender ideological and policy constraints. Using the IPUMS International dataset, containing harmonized census micro data, enables a large-sample comparison of a substantial number of non-OECD countries across the major world regions that have not previously been included in our analyses. In a two stage multilevel design, I firstly estimate the odds of being employed for advantaged and disadvantaged mothers, splitting the analyses by the age of the youngest child. I then estimate the effects of economic inequality, gender ideologies and work-family policies on the employment of advantaged and disadvantaged mothers. Preliminary results indicate that more unequal economic conditions are associated with lower employment of mothers across the board, but more strongly so for the most advantaged mothers. Higher gender equality, shorter workweeks and longer leaves benefit the most advantaged mothers most, whereas childcare benefits all groups of mothers.

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