1887

Babies and Bosses - Reconciling Work and Family Life (Volume 2)

Austria, Ireland and Japan

image of Babies and Bosses - Reconciling Work and Family Life (Volume 2)

Raising children and having a career both rate highly as important life goals for many people. Helping parents to achieve these goals is vital for society: parental care plays a crucial role in child development and parental employment promotes economic prosperity. A failure to assist parents find their preferred work and family balance has implications for both labour supply and family decisions. This study considers how a wide range of policies, including tax/benefit policies, childcare policies, and employment and workplace practices, help determine parental labour market outcomes and family formation in Austria, Ireland and Japan.

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Families and Work

Labour Market Outcomes

This chapter discusses parental employment patterns in Austria, Ireland, and Japan. While the presence of children in the household hardly affects the labour market behaviour of fathers, it does have a significant impact on maternal employment patterns. It is worth noting, however, that trends across countries vary. Economic growth has procured a persistent increase of female employment in Austria, where three out of four mothers whose youngest child is in school are in work. The booming Irish economy of the latter part of the 1990s – sometimes referred to as the “Celtic Tigress” – facilitated a rapid change in female labour market behaviour: employment rates of women in their late twenties are now higher than in the other two countries and are double that of Irish women of the same age 20 years ago. The economic slowdown in Japan helps explain the growth of relatively cheap flexible labour (often female part-timers) at the expense of regular employment. As well as providing a comprehensive discussion of employment trends and how employment outcomes vary with the age and number of children, this chapter addresses gender equity issues, summarizes the different systems of public support for parents with children and, finally, briefly considers poverty rates...

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