The Future of Family and Work: Evaluating Family Friendly Policies


Place: IZA, Schaumburg-Lippe-Str.7-9, Bonn, Germany
Date: May 10/11, 2002
Organizers: Mette Ejrnaes (University of Copenhagen, CIM), Astrid Kunze (IZA), Nina Smith (Aarhus School of Business, CIM, IZA) and Mette Verner (CIM)


Astrid Kunze (
P.O Box 7240
D - 53072 Bonn
Tel.: +49-228-3894-221, Fax: +49-228-3894-180


Do family friendly policies contribute to the reconciliation of work and family life? Family friendly policies have recently attracted a lot of interest among politicians in order to improve the conditions for families with children. For example, parental leave policies governed by law have reached great importance, mainly, in continental European countries.

Therefore, it is of great importance to be able to evaluate family friendly policies. It is striking that differences in the policy design of family friendly policies (e.g. parental leave, and provision of child care) across countries coincide with differences in labour market outcomes. In Scandinavian countries, for example, parental leave is granted for 6 to 15 months and high replacement rates are paid by the state. At the same time, female labour force participation rates are high. By contrast, in Germany law guarantees parental leave for up to three years and the replacement rate is very low. Furthermore, labour force participation rates of young women with children are relatively low. Where the differences in the labour market participation rates are well established, one may consider looking at further outcome variables, such as gender wage gap, fertility and child quality. Research in European countries so far has mainly focused on the female labour force participation rate and reduced form model frameworks. In this workshop we want to encourage and collect research results going beyond this analysis.

The objective of this meeting is to bring researchers together in an informal setting, with the agenda of discussing new evidence on family friendly policies, based on micro-economic data analyses or other approaches. A special policy session will be organized. It is expected that during this two days event 8-10 papers be presented. Discussants will be invited too. To launch the workshop we have invited Christopher Ruhm and Shelly Lundberg as keynote speakers who will be present at the workshop.


Friday, May 10

9:15 - 9:30

Jutta M. Joesch (CPHRE Seattle) and Katharina Spiess (DIW Berlin):
"European Mother's Time with Children: Differences and Similarities
across Countries"

Discussant: Mette Ejrnaes (University of Copenhagen)


10:30 - 11:45

Christopher J. Ruhm (University of North Carolina at Greensboro):
"Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development"

Discussant: Susan Vroman (Georgetown University and IZA)



11:45 - 12:00

Coffee Break



12:00 - 1:15

Marianne Simonsen (CIM, University of Aarhus), Helena Skyt Nielsen (CIM, Aarhus School of Business) and Mette Verner (CIM, Aarhus School of Business):
"Earnings Effects of Career Interruptions in a Model with Endogenous Sector Choice"

Discussant: Elke Wolf (ZEW)



1:15 - 2:15




2:15 - 3:30

Astrid Kunze (IZA) and Mette Ejrnaes (University of Copenhagen)
"Wage Dips and Drops around First Birth"

Discussant: James Albrecht (Georgetown University and IZA)



3:30 - 5:00 Panel Discussion:
"Family friendly policies - a challenge for future labour market policies"

Nina Smith (CIM, Aarhus School of Business and IZA)
Willem Adema (OECD)
Jörg Althammer (Ruhr University Bochum, Member of Advisory Board to the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth)




Conference Dinner at Hotel Pastis, Hatschiergasse 8



Saturday, May 11

9:30 - 10:45

Daniela Del Boca (University of Turin and IZA):
"Do Child Care Costs Affect Labor Market Decisions? Evidence from Italy"

Discussant: Nina Smith (CIM, Aarhus School of Business and IZA)



10:45 - 12:00 Maria Gutierrez-Domenech (London School of Economics):
"Job Penalty after Motherhood: A Spanish Case in a European Context"

Discussant: Denis Beninger (ZEW)



12:00 - 12:15

Coffee Break



12:15 - 1:30

Michael Gerfin (University of Bern):
"The Impact of In-Work Benefits on Family Labour Supply and Income"

Discussant: Holger Bonin (IZA)



1:30 - 2:30




2:30 - 3:45

Shelly Lundberg (University of Washington):
"Limits to Specialization: Efficiency and the Division of Labor in Modern Families"

Discussant: Marianne Sundström (Stockholm University)



3:45 - 4:00

Coffee Break



4:00 - 5:15 Miriam Beblo (ZEW) and Elke Wolf (ZEW):
"The Wage Penalties of Heterogenous Employment Biographies: An Empirical Analysis for Germany"

Discussant: Sascha O. Becker (University of Munich and IZA)



5:15 - 6:30 Cecile Wetzels (TNO-Institute of Strategy, Technology and Policy):
"Dutch Women's Wages: Is there a Double Selection into Motherhood and Type of Jobs?"

Discussant: Mette Verner (CIM, Aarhus School of Business)



6:30 Concluding Remarks






The workshop is organized and funded jointly by IZA and CIM. Participants will be reimbursed for a return journey to the conference and for subsistence and accomodation, in accordance with IZA standard guidelines.


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