YEAR 2020

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Working mothers and childcare—who benefits in East and West? LIfBi employee honored with Ph.D. award at ECSR Conference 2019


Dr. Gundula Zoch, postdoc researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi), has been awarded for her dissertation by the European Consortium for Sociological Research (ECSR). In her work, she examines the relations between the expansion of early childhood care facilities, the changes in maternal employment, and the gender role attitudes of parents in East and West Germany.

The accumulative dissertation, which took third place in the "ECSR Dissertation of the Year" competition, is titled "Expanding Public Childcare for Under-threes—An Empirical Investigation of Maternal Employment and Gender Ideologies in East and West". The results of the studies show that parents in regions with a strong expansion of the number of childcare places develop less traditional attitudes toward maternal employment and early childhood care. If more childcare places are available in a region, mothers return to work more quickly after giving birth, especially in Western Germany. "However, not everyone benefits from the expansion of childcare," according to Zoch, "especially mothers with a higher level of education make greater use of early childhood care in Germany. Social differences in labor force participation therefore still persist." For the empirical investigation, she linked longitudinal data from the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) and the relationship and family panel pairfam with data about the regional availability of childcare facilities.

Full text of the dissertation

Zoch has been working at LIfBi since January 2018 in the Department "Educational Decisions and Processes, Migration, Returns to Education". In April 2018 she was awarded her doctorate in sociology at the University of Bamberg. She carried out her project with a doctoral scholarship from the Bamberg Graduate School of Social Science (BAGSS)—which was funded from 2012-2018 by the Excellence Initiative of the Federal and State Governments—at the University of Bamberg.

First place at the award ceremony went to Dr. Zachary Van Winkle of the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), second place to Dr. Arjen de Wit from the University of Amsterdam. The competition "ECSR Dissertation of the Year" is held during the annual ECSR conference. This year the members met from September 12-14, 2019, in Lausanne/Switzerland.

More information about the jurors and the guidelines

The ECSR Consortium was founded in 1991 with the aim of promoting theoretically oriented empirical research in sociology in Europe. Currently, over 90 leading European research institutes and university departments are members of the Consortium.

To the conference website