Die Bildungsungleichheit des Erwerbsverhaltens von Frauen mit Kindern: Westdeutschland im Vergleich zwischen 1976 und 2004

Kreyenfeld, M. R., Konietzka, D., Böhm, S.

[Educational differences in maternal employment in Germany: an investigation based on the German Microcensus Data 1976-2004]

Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 36:6, 434-452 (2007)


Since the 1960s, there has been a steady increase in female labor-force participation rates in western Germany. However, employment patterns vary considerably between the different subpopulations of women. We investigate whether educational differences in maternal full-time and part-time employment have increased over time. The empirical investigations draw on data from the scientific-use files of the micro-censuses of the years 1976 to 2004. It shows that part-time and marginal employment rates have increased recently; however, full-time employment rates have slightly declined. Poorly educated mothers show the most dramatic reductions in labor market participation rates over time. This has contributed to a wider variation in full-time employment patterns according to the factor education. The “dual-earner model” is most common among highly qualified women and especially those with highly qualified partners. We suspect that this has major consequences for the accumulation of economic resources and that it will contribute to an increase in social inequality between households.