Institute of Sociology

Prof. Pia S. Schober, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology, with focus on microsociology.

Department of Sociology
Wilhelmstraße 36 (1st upper floor, room 108)
72074 Tübingen
 +49 7071 29 73462
Secretary: Svitlana Benz

Team members

Office hours

Wednesday 3-4 pm, by appointment with Svitlana Benz

Academic career

since 2016
Chair of Microsociology

at the Department of Sociology of the University of Tübingen

Senior Research Associate at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

at the Department of Education and Family. She remains associated with the DIW Berlin as a Research Fellow.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, UK

PiaSchober held two post-doctoral research fellowships, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and by the British Academy and was based at the Department of Sociology in Cambridge.

Ph.D. in Social Policy at the London school of Economics

Thesis: "From Partners to Parents: The gender division of domestic work, parenthood, and relationship quality of British couples".

Research interests

  • Social and gender inequalities in child care, education and child development
  • Gender, division of labour and work-family balance
  • Demographic processes of family formation and dissolution
  • Family policy and early childhood education and care policy
  • Quantitative methods

Current PhD students

  • Karoline Mikus (LEAD Graduate School, Universität Tübingen)
  • Isabelle Fischer (LEAD Graduate School, Universität Tübingen)
  • Luisa Streckenbach (Deutsches Jugendinstitut, München)
  • Silke Büchau (DFG, Universität Tübingen) 
  • Marie-Fleur Philipp (DFG, Universität Tübingen)

Previous PhD students

  • Juliane Stahl (DIW Berlin und International Max Planck Research School on the Life Course)
  • Gundula Zoch (Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences, Universität Bamberg)


Teaching topics


  • Sozialstrukturanalyse
  • Familiensoziologie
  • Bildungssoziologie
  • Gender, Demographie und Wohlfahrtsstaat
  • Quantitative Längschnittsdatenanalyse
  • Quantitative Methoden der Politik- und Programmevaluation

Thesis Supervision

To discuss possible supervision of Master and Bachelor theses in Sociology, students should come to the first session of the colloquium in the respective semester or make an office hour appointment with  Svitlana Benz (svitlana.benzspam A list of rough suggestions for thesis topics which currently are of particular interest to team members of the chair of microsociology can be found in the right column as well as an overview of formal requirements for registration, submission and format of theses. Students are required to download and include with their thesis a signed declaration of originality (Eigenständigkeitserklärung) in either English or German.




Peer-reviewed journal articles

Book chapters

  • Schober, P.S. and Büchau, S. (2022) How parenting leaves impact parental employment, family work, and gender norms: a literature review, in: Dobrotić, I., Blum, S. and A. Koslowski (Eds.) Research Handbook on Leave Policy: Parenting and Social Inequalities in a Global Perspective, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp.141-154,
  • Schober, P.S. (2020) Going regional: Local childcare provision and parental work-care choices in Germany, in: Nieuwenhuis, R. and Van Lancker, W. (ed.): Palgrave Handbook of Family Policy, London: Palgrave, pp. 485-509,
  • Camehl, G. F., Schober, P. S. and Spieß, C. K. (2014) A SOEP-Related Study: Early Childhood Education and Care Quality in the Socio-Economic Panel (K2ID-SOEP), in: Gerstorf, Sandra and Jürgen Schupp (ed.): SOEP Wave Report 2014, Berlin, pp.31-33
  • Schober, P. S. (2014) Day-care trends for children under three years in Germany, in Leon, M. The Transformation of Care in European Societies, London: Palgrave, 208-232
  • Schober, P. S. (2014) Family Policies from Gender Equality Perspectives. A European Comparison, in Jin, Y. and Schlaeger, C. (Eds.) Family Changes in China and Study on Family Policies, Nanjing Normal University
  • Schober, P. S. (2014) Female-male earnings ratio among skilled workers, in: Michalos, A. C. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-being Research, Dordrecht: Springer, 2238-2240
  • Schober, P. S. (2012) Stratification, work and early parenthood, in: Blackburn, B., Connelly, R., Gayle, V. und Lambert, P. (eds.) Social Stratification: Trends and Processes, Ashgate
  • Schober, P. S. (2005) Karriere- und Familienplanung tschechischer und österreichischer Frauen im Vergleich (Career- and family planning of Czech and Austrian women in comparative perspective), in: Reif, E. und Schwarz, I. (eds) Zwischen Konflikt und Annäherung, Südwind Niederösterreich Verlag

Policy reports

Book reviews

  • Schober, P. S. (2014) Review of ‘Persistence, privilege, and parenting: The comparative study of intergenerational mobility’ by T. M. Smeeding, R. Erikson, and M. Jäntti (eds.), (Russel Sage, 2011), and ‘From parents to children: The intergenerational transmission of advantage’ by J. Ermisch, M. Jäntti, and T. Smeeding (eds) (Russel Sage, 2012), Journal of European Social Policy, 24 (2014), 4, 400-402
  • Schober, P. S. (2012) Review of ‘Social Policies, Labour Markets and Motherhood’ by Del Boca, D. and Wetzels, C. (eds) (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Economica, 79 (2012), 314-316
  • Schober, P. S. (2010) Review of ‘Contemporary Fathering: Theory, Policy and Practice’ by Featherstone, B. (Bristol: Policy Press, 2009), Journal of Social Policy, 39 (2010): 494-496

Working papers

  • Philipp, M.-F., Büchau, S., Schober, P. S., Werner, V., Spiess, C. K. (2024) How daycare quality shapes norms around daycare use and parental employment: Experimental evidence from Germany, BiB Working Paper 1/2024. Wiesbaden: Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung
  • Büchau, S., Philipp, M.-F., Schober, P.S., and Spiess, C.K. (2023) Day care availability and awareness of gendered economic risks: How they shape work and care norms, BiB Working Paper 7/2022. Wiesbaden: Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung
  • Schober, P. S. and Zoch, G. (2015) Change in the gender division of domestic work after mummy or daddy took leave: An examination of alternative explanations, SOEP Papers 803
  • Peter, F. H., Schober, P. S. and Spieß, C. K. (2014) Early Birds in Day Care: The Social Gradient in Starting Day Care and Children's Non-cognitive Skills, DIW Discussion Paper 1438
  • Schober, P. S. and Spieß, C. K. (2014) Local Day-Care Quality and Maternal Employment: Evidence from East and West Germany, SOEP Papers 649
  • Schober, P. S. and Schmitt, C. (2013) Day-care expansion and parental subjective wellbeing: evidence from Germany, SOEP Papers No.602
  • Schober, P. S. (2012) Parental Leave Policies and Child Care Time in Couples after Childbirth, SOEP Papers 434
  • Schober, P. S. (2011) Maternal Labor Market Return, Parental Leave Policies, and Gender Inequality in Housework, SOEP papers 422
  • Schober, P. S. (2010) The parenthood effect on gender inequality: Explaining the change in paid and domestic work when British couples become parents, GeNet Working Paper No. 42
  • Schober, P. S. (2010) Gender equality and outsourcing of domestic work, childbearing, and relationship stability among British couples, GENet Working Paper No. 41