Educational expansion, the massive increase of women’s labor force participation, and assortative mating have reduced asymmetries in educational achievements and in career resources between women and men in virtually every Western society. This paper provides an analysis of the association between partners' education, parenthood, and spouses' relative labor supply in East and West Germany. Education is considered from two angles: as an indicator for resources on the labor market or as an indicator for gender attitudes. We apply cross-sectional data from the 2011 German Microcensus, comprising 57,366 couple households. For our estimations, we use General Linear Models. Because of high case numbers, we are able to estimate several interaction effects in statistical powerful detail. We find that (1) a woman's share of paid work is higher, the higher she is educated; (2) women with higher education than their male partners realize higher shares of relative employment (in comparison to other women); (3) women rarely realize a share of 50% or higher on average in any educational composition; (4) especially young children have a huge impact on women's labor supply; and (5) women's comparative educational advantages are more important for their share of paid work in West than in East Germany. Neither interpretation of relative education can explain the overall picture of couples’ division of paid work alone. Depending on parenthood, the age of the youngest child in the household, and the regional context, either normative, or economic exchanges between partners seem to drive the association between relative education, and relative labor supply of women. We demonstrate the usefulness of two theoretical approaches of framing education as an explanatory concept.
Schlagwörter:Partnerschaft; partnership; Bildungsniveau; level of education; Erwerbsbeteiligung; labor force participation; Elternschaft; parenthood; gender-specific factors; Geschlechtsrolle; gender role; Frauenerwerbstätigkeit; women's employment; Familie; family; Federal Republic of Germany; alte Bundesländer; old federal states; neue Bundesländer; New Federal States
SSOAR Kategorie:Familiensoziologie, Sexualsoziologie, Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung