Dirk Hofäcker, Rumiana Stoilova, Jan R. Riebling
The Gendered Division of Paid and Unpaid Work in Different Institutional Regimes: Comparing West Germany, East Germany and Bulgaria

European Sociological Review, 2013: 29, issue 2, p. 192-209
ISSN: 0266-7215

The division of paid and unpaid work between spouses is essential for the placement of women within paid work, and hence implies several consequences—for the returns, which women receive for their education, for women’s employment status in the active age, for women’s horizontal and vertical labour segregation, and for their amount of pensions after retirement. Previous findings suggest that there exist systematic relationships between a country’s institutional background and the division of family tasks and employment between men and women. Few previous studies, however, have attempted a thorough analysis of the cross-nationally different ‘typical strategies’ of simultaneously dividing both paid and unpaid work between spouses, and its individual determinants. Our paper intends to fill this gap by identifying the type of strategies that women develop for combining paid and unpaid work in Bulgaria, West Germany, and East Germany, with specific emphasis on a more detailed task-oriented analysis of unpaid housework in the three different institutional contexts. Our analytical interest on the one hand lies on identifying nation-specific peculiarities as well as cross-national differences in the choice of specific reconciliation strategies. At the same time, we aim to identify the micro-level determinants that influence or shape a specific choice of strategies. Empirically, we draw back to the West German, East German, and Bulgarian data of the first wave (2006) of the Gender and Generations Programme (GGP), a newly available data set by the UN that allows for a detailed consideration of the above mentioned aspects. Descriptive statistics as well as logistic regression will be used to test for the hypothesized relationships.