The struggle that women face in reconciling their work and family roles is one of the main explanations proposed for the rapid decline in fertility rates in some developed countries. This study examines the role of the outsourcing of housework in reducing such role incompatibility and in increasing fertility among women in Germany—a country with below-replacement fertility rates, which enacted a series of large-scale schemes from the beginning of the 1990s that give incentives to households to outsource housework. Based on Goode’s role strain theory and by using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, this study analyzed whether women who outsourced housework after the birth of their first child had a higher probability of having a second child. A survival analysis of 3990 person years demonstrates that, controlling for observables, the outsourcing of domestic labor is positively associated with a higher probability of a subsequent second birth in German women.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 16, 2016
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