In this paper, I investigate employment behaviour of women one year after childbirth. Since the study is based on a sample of mothers only, a corrective method for selection into motherhood has been applied. In the empirical work, I use the family sex composition as an instrument for fertility. The primary focus of this study is to investigate the regional differences in the labour supply of women after childbirth. In Switzerland, childcare policy is an area being the responsibility of cantons and communes. There are thus considerable geographical, linguistic and cultural differences in childcare provision within the country. For instance, childcare policy is more strongly integrated at the cantonal level in the French and Italian speaking regions (“Latin part”) than in the German speaking regions (“German part”) where communes operate at their own discretion. The federal structure of Switzerland poses thus issues of policy coherence. The main results of this paper indicate that Latin mothers are more likely to return to work and to report more hours of work than their German counterparts. As a consequence, a more coherent and more harmonised childcare policy at the federal level should prove worthwhile. Adopting measures that increase the availability and the quality of childcare is important to promote mother’s full-time and continuous employment.
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