These comparative studies by internationally-known scholars in the United States, Hungary, Germany, and the Netherlands provide a cross-national examination of substantially differing circumstances--in hours, earnings, job level, childcare availability, parental leave, and the like--of women's employment. The book's dual focus on micro and macro approaches clarifies the extent to which these variances can be ascribed to differences in the institutional context of employment or to the individual characteristics of female employees. It thereby provides a valuable contribution both to gender studies and to studies on the sociology of work.
Women's employment changed dramatically during the second half of the twentieth century. Countries in the northern hemisphere have faced similar trends in labor and employment, yet there are still many contrasts between them when it comes to women's work. In this volume, women's employment is studied in different institutional, structural, and social settings, with the intention of exploring the causes of the differences and similarities in women's employment in different countries and at different times. Three perspectives are used: the macro approach, which provides a thorough and focused understanding of the influence of the institutional context on women's work; the micro approach, which gives insight into the employment behavior of individual women who live in the same social or institutional context; and the macro-micro approach, which makes clear the relative importance to women's work of both individual characteristics and institutional context.
While a good deal of information is available on women's employment, a cross-national comparison over time has been lacking. This book fills that all-important niche. Women's Employment in a Comparative Perspective thus has a special relevance for economists as well as sociologists and social work specialists.
Tanja Van der Lippe is assistant professor of sociology at the Research School ICS of Utrecht University, the Netherlands. Liset Van Dijk is senior researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research, Nivel.