The European Journal of Comparative Economics

ISSN: 1824-2979

EJCE Year: 2018, December. Volume: 15 - Issue: 2

Single Motherhood in East and West Germany: What Can Explain the Differences?

by Uwe Jirjahn ; Cornelia Struewing

Start page: 197 - End page: 229

Keywords: Out-of-partnership birth, separation of couples, cohabitation, child care, unemployment, gender role models, transition economy

DOI: 10.25428/1824-2979/201802-197-229

Abstract:

The share of single mothers is higher in East Germany than in West Germany. Using data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we examine two transmission channels leading to single motherhood, namely out-of-partnership births and separations of couples with minor children. Women in East Germany have both a higher probability of out-of-partnership birth and a higher probability of separation. We find no evidence that availability of child care plays a role in the differences between East and West Germany. The differences in single motherhood appear to be rather driven by different gender role models and partially also by economic circumstances.

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