MPIDR Working Paper

Does the availability of childcare influence the employment of mothers? Findings from western Germany

Hank, K., Kreyenfeld, M. R.

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2000-003 (März 2000).
Rostock, Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

This working paper has now been published in Population Research and Policy Review, 19 (4), 317-337.


There is a vast empirical literature investigating the effects of childcare costs on female employment. Day-care costs are usually treated as a reduction in female wages and are supposed to reduce a woman’s propensity to participate in the labor market. In this paper we argue that an analysis of the effects of childcare on the employment of mothers in Germany should focus on the availability rather than the affordability of care, due to peculiarities of the German day-care regime. Our empirical findings cast doubt on the effectiveness of the current German day-care regime. Specifically, we question the extent to which it enables mothers to participate in the labor market. (AUTHORS)