M. Caliendo

"Low female labor market participation is a problem many developed countries have to face. Beside activating inactive women, one possible solution is to support the re-integration of unemployed women. Due to female-specific labor market constraints (preferences for flexible working hours, discrimination), this is a difficult task, and the question arises whether active labor market policies (ALMP) are an appropriate tool to help. It has been shown that the effectiveness of traditional ALMPs – which focus on the integration in dependent (potentially inflexible) employment-is positive but limited. Starting their own business might give women more independence and flexibility to reconcile work and family and increase labor market participation. Based on long-term informative data, we find that start-up programs persistently integrate former unemployed women into the labor market, and the impact on fertility is less detrimental than for traditional ALMP programs."