Gender Unemployment Gaps: Evidence from the New EU Member States
Using EU LFS data, we analyze gender unemployment gaps in eight new EU member states – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, the three Baltic states and Slovenia – over the last decade. While there are substantial unemployment gaps in the four central European countries and, more recently, also in Slovenia, there is no statistical difference between female and male unemployment rates in the three Baltic states. The estimated cost of having children, in terms of the higher probability of unemployment and lower unemployment to employment transition rate, is the highest in countries with the longest and most substantial drop in the labor force participation of women after childbirth. We show that country differences in family leave policies can explain much of the cross-country variation in the gender unemployment gaps.