March 24, 2010

SOEP Brown Bag Seminar

SOEP Brown Bag Seminar: Agreeable Housewives? Women's Noncognitive Skills and Return to Employment after Childbirth
Agreeable Housewives? Women's Noncognitive Skills and Return to Employment after Childbirth

Date

March 24, 2010
12:30 - 1:30 pm

Location

Gustav-Schmoller-Raum
DIW Berlin im Quartier 110
Room 3.3.002A
Mohrenstraße 58
10117 Berlin

Eva M. Berger, DIW Berlin

Recent economic literature found that noncognitive skills play an important role in economic and social success like educational attainment and employment outcomes. In particular for employment probabilities, some studies even conclude that noncognitive skills have a larger impact than cognitive skills and that this pattern is especially pronounced for women. Building on this literature, this paper investigates how noncognitive traits affect the time until a mother returns to employment after childbirth. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), I refer to the concepts of Locus of Control and of the Big Five personality traits. I estimate a discrete survival model incorporating a discrete mixture distribution to summarize unobserved heterogeneity. The results indicate that women with a high score on agreeableness return to employment later. The effects of extraversion and belief in external control are both found to be inversely U-shaped. Individuals at both extremes of the traits return to employment later than individuals with moderate traits.

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