July 2004

IZA DP No. 1220: Females' Willingness to Work and the Discouragement Effect of a Poor Local Childcare Provision

published in: [Applied Economics Quarterly], 2004, 50 (4), 363 - 378

We analyze the effects of regional structures on females’ willingness to work as well as on the probability that non-employed women who are willing to work actually will engage in job search. Special permission was granted to link regional data to individual respondents in the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). Results of a bivariate probit model correcting for sample selection show that high regional unemployment discourages women from entering the labor market. Further, findings indicate that women with young children are willing to work, but that women with young children and mothers who are unhappy with the regional childcare provision are the least likely to look for a job. These findings indicate that high institutional and spatial barriers discourage mothers from entering employment.