Fathers’ and Mothers’ Longitudinal Employment Patterns around First Birth in Germany: A Group Based Multi Trajectory Modeling Approach

Lili Vargha , Humboldt University of Berlin & Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

The aim of this paper is to analyze the employment patterns of first-time parents both before and after the birth of the first child in Germany from a parental dyad perspective. Using the innovative Group Based Multi Trajectory Modeling approach (Nagin et al 2016) applied to the German SOEP panel data on monthly employment spells, I explore the typical trajectories of how men and women jointly combine and sequence full-time and part-time employment surrounding first births. My focus spans the year preceding the birth and extends up to six years thereafter, enabling me to identify the typical developmental trajectories of employment surrounding first births in Germany between 1990 and 2014. After identifying the distinctive parental employment trajectories, I use multinomial logistic regressions and analyze how the probability of trajectory group membership vary as a function of important baseline characteristics of the parental dyad and birth. First, I analyze how parental age, education, baseline employment and income are related to parental employment trajectories and also assess if being socialized in East or West Germany is associated with group membership. Secondly, I examine how typical employment patterns have evolved over time, and differentiate the periods before and after 2007, when the German Parental Leave Reform (Elterngeld reform) was introduced. Furthermore, I explore how time varying covariates, such as the birth of a second child effects parental employment trajectories. The paper explains how relative resources within and between couples are associated with the parents' division of paid work from a dynamic dyadic perspective.

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 Presented in Session 111. Labour Markets and Couples