Happy Working Mothers? Investigating the Effect of Maternal Employment on Life Satisfaction



This paper analyses the effect of non-participation and part-time employment compared to full-time employment on life satisfaction of mothers in Germany. Using data from the SOEP and applying fixed-effects panel estimations, the results show that mothers in family-related non-participation and mothers employed part-time are less satisfied than mothers employed full-time. The direct and the indirect effect—due to foregone household income—each account for about half of the total effect. I attribute the found negative effects on the institutional and social conditions in Germany that prevent many mothers from reconciling (full-time) employment with motherhood.