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Cross-National Patterns in Individual and Household Employment and Work Hours by Gender and Parenthood

Comparing European Workers Part A

ISBN: 978-1-84950-946-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-947-3

Publication date: 25 April 2011


Purpose – This chapter examines how gender, parenthood, and partner's employment are related to individual's employment patterns, analyzing paid work at individual and household levels.

Methodology/approach – Analyses use individual-level data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) wave 5 for 19 countries, for adults aged 25–45. We use logistic regression and a two-stage Heckman sample selection correction procedure to estimate the effects of gender and parenthood on the probabilities of employment and full-time employment.

Findings – The variation between mothers and childless women is larger than that between childless men and childless women; differences in women's employment patterns are driven by gendered parenthood, controlling for women's human capital, partnered status and household income. Fathers and mothers' employment hours in the same household vary cross-nationally.

Mothers' employment behaviors can identify important differences in the strategies countries have pursued to balance work and family life.

Research implications – Important differences between childless women and mothers exist; employment analyses need to recognize the variation in employment hours among women, and how women's hours are related to partners' hours. Further research should consider factors that shape employment cross-nationally, as well as how these relate to differences in wages and occupational gender segregation.

Practical implications – Employment choices of women and mothers must be understood in terms of employment hours, not simply employment, and within the context of partners' employment.

Originality/value of paper – Our chapter clarifies the wide dispersion of employment hours across countries – and how men's and women's employment hours are linked and related to parenthood.



Misra, J., Budig, M.J. and Boeckmann, I. (2011), "Cross-National Patterns in Individual and Household Employment and Work Hours by Gender and Parenthood", Brady, D. (Ed.) Comparing European Workers Part A (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 22 Part 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 169-207.



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