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Ariane BERTOGG (University of Konstanz) “Needs or Obligations? Disentangling Normative from Institutional Influence in Grandparents‘ Work-Care Reconciliation”
Sociology Seminar: Wenesday
Date: 18th of May 2022
Abstract :This study investigates how institutional and normative characteristics shape grandparents’ labor market participation in the light of different patterns of engagement in grandchild care (no participation, sporadic, and regular childcare provision). Previous studies indicate that providing regular grandchild care reduces labor market participation, and that this linkage seems to vary between European welfare contexts. Yet the underlying mechanisms behind such contextual variation remain unclear, and no study has systematically disentangled cultural from institutional influence when investigating grandparents’ work-care reconciliation. Moreover, cultural influence is often only assessed using a residual approach, and frequently neglects the substantial within-country variation in normative beliefs. This study provides a first attempt to overcome some of these weaknesses. Based on two theoretical mechanisms, needs and obligations, I investigate how (grandparental) support norms and childcare infrastructure jointly shape the labor market participation of active grandparents. I use six waves from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement (SHARE), investigating variation across 91 sub-national regions in 18 European countries. As the phenomenon of interest is grandparents’ labor market exit, I apply Conditional Logit panel regression models with person Fixed Effects and country-level cluster-robust standard errors to a sample of grandparents aged between 50 and 68 years. The results indicate that the regular provision of grandchild care increases the risk of exiting the labor market for both men and women. This link is stronger in regions with stronger (general or specific grandparental) support norms, but at the same time also depends on a country’s childcare infrastructure characteristics (such as expenditures per child and coverage rate), which speaks for a joint influence. In order to disentangle normative from institutional influence, I draw special attention to those cases where norms and policies may create inconsistencies, as such contexts allow to investigate whether the influence of norms (and hence obligations) or policies (and hence need) dominate grandparents’ work-care reconciliation. I find gender-specific patterns. Whereas for women, normative influence seems to dominate the childcare-work nexus, for grandfathers, needs seem to dominate obligations”.
Sofian EL ATIFI, Etienne OLLION, Patrick PRÄG (Pôle de Sociologie du CREST)