Eric D. Widmer

Ernst Stähli,M., Le Goff,J.,M., Levy R., Widmer,E.D. (2009). Wishes or Constraints? Mothers’ Labour Force Participation and its Motivation in Switzerland. European Sociological Review, vol. 25, n° 3, pp. 333-348.

The aim of this article is to estimate the impact of various factors related to role conflict theory and preference theory on the reduction of women’s labour force participation after their transition to parenthood. Objective and subjective dimensions of women’s labour force participation are assessed. The empirical test is based on a survey of couples with children in Switzerland. Results show that compared to structural factors associated with role conflict reduction, preferences have little impact on mothers’ labour force participation, but explain a good deal of their frustration if the factual situation does not correspond to their wishes. Structural factors, such as occupation, economic resources, child care, and an urban environment, support mothers’ labour force participation, whereas active networks and a home centred lifestyle preference help them to cope with frustrations.

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