Anna Matysiak, Stephanie Steinmetz
Who follows whom? Female employment patterns in West Germany, East Germany and Poland
The objective of this paper is to answer the question of how far and to what extent women in post-socialist countries adopted employment patterns of countries belonging to a conservative welfare regime. This topic is important, taking into account changes in labour market and family policies experienced by post-socialist countries that resulted in an increased conflict between family and work and consequently a severe drop in fertility. The issue is addressed by implementing two binomial logit models on labour force data, comparing Poland, East Germany and West Germany. Special attention is paid to the development of part-time employment.
Our results reveal only minor indications of the adoption of West German female employment patterns in Poland and East Germany. In the former GDR they are expressed in an increase in the prevalence of part-time work among mothers. In Poland a polarisation between full-time employment and non-employment among mothers of youngest children is observed. Contrary to the child effect the effect of marriage and husband’s labour market status do not affect female employment in a way that would indicate an adoption of West German female employment patterns. This all may suggest that women in post-socialist countries are rather going their ‘own’ way, and only partly adjusting their behaviour to the changing structural conditions.