Gender Role Attitudes, Work Decisions and Social Policies in Europe. A Series of Empirical Essays

by De Henau, Jérôme

Abstract (Summary)
The aim of the thesis is to understand why European countries show a very different picture of female employment (in their fertile ages) which is not the case for men of the same age. We shed light on the various positions of countries in this framework of earner-carer models, in analysing policy designs, policy outcomes and policy determinants. That is, respectively, family policy indicators, employment of mothers and childless women, gender role attitudes and their interacting effect with policies and employment outcomes. We have used a wide range of primary or secondary quantitative and qualitative data to carry out our comparative analysis, mixing approaches, techniques and methods, from micro-econometric models to macro-level harmonised indicators, supplemented with a case study. The dissertation is divided in three parts, each focusing on one question: (i) Are there complementarities or distinctions between types of family policies across Europe, as regards gender equality and dual-earner friendliness, and how can we compare different policy settings as they are found to be very heterogeneous? (ii) To what extent can institutional settings explain cross-country differences in female employment outcomes, and especially those of mothers, in a context of decreasing fertility? (iii) Do individual preferences counteract (or reinforce) the policy impact on employment in connexion with the prevalence of traditional gender role attitudes? Results show that the institutional variation across countries explains a great deal of differences in female employment, especially for mothers. If policies are not supportive of the dual-earner model, even those women who have a stronger preference for labour market attachment face obstacles that reduce their employment opportunities in the presence of young children. However, even in countries where a somewhat dual-earner friendly model is favoured, our detailed analysis of policy instruments reveals that gender equality is still far from being achieved.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Jepsen, Maria; Szafarz, Ariane; Rycx, François; Gornick, Janet; Biltiau, Philippe; Meulders, Danièle; Plasman, Robert

School:Université libre de Bruxelles

School Location:Belgium

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:comparaison européenne gender role attitudes family policies inequalities de rôles sexués politiques familiales cross country comparison inégalités genre employment emploi


Date of Publication:11/14/2006

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