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The motherhood wage gap: What about job amenities?


  • Felfe, Christina


Women with children tend to earn lower hourly wages than women without children — a shortfall known as the ‘motherhood wage gap’. While many studies provide evidence for this empirical fact and explore several hypotheses about its causes, the impact of motherhood on job dimensions other than wages has scarcely been investigated. In order to assess changes in women's jobs around motherhood, I use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and employ a first difference analysis. The results reveal that women when having children accommodate at their original employer primarily through adjustments in working hours. Yet, when changing the employer women adjust their jobs in several dimensions, such as different aspects of the work schedule (working hours, work at night or according to a flexible schedule) as well as the level of stress. Further analysis provides some limited support for the motherhood wage gap being explained by adjustments in the work conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Felfe, Christina, 2012. "The motherhood wage gap: What about job amenities?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 59-67.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:1:p:59-67
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2011.06.016

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lionel Wilner, 2016. "Worker-firm matching and the parenthood pay gap: Evidence from linked employer-employee data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 991-1023, October.
    2. Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska & Anna Lovasz, 2016. "Are children driving the gender wage gap?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 24(2), pages 259-297, April.
    3. Kunze, Astrid, 2014. "The family gap in career progression," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 29/2014, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    4. Silvia Rocha-Akis, 2015. "Distributional Effects of the Tax Reform of 2015-16," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 88(5), pages 387-398, May.
    5. Holly Monti & Lori Reeder & Martha Stinson, 2018. "How long do early career decisions follow women? The impact of industry and firm size history on the gender and motherhood wage gaps," Working Papers 18-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. Adnan, Wifag & Miaari, Sami H., 2018. "Voting Patterns and the Gender Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 11261, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. repec:ilo:ilowps:487376 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Felfe, Christina & Lechner, Michael & Thiemann, Petra, 2016. "After-school care and parents' labor supply," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 64-75.
    9. Anna Lovasz & Ewa Cukrowska, 2014. "Are children driving the gender wage gap? Comparative evidence from Poland and Hungary," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 1404, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    10. Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska, 2015. "She Cares and He Earns? The Family Gap in Poland," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 42.
    11. Nizalova, Olena Y. & Sliusarenko, Tamara & Shpak, Solomiya, 2016. "The motherhood wage penalty in times of transition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 56-75.
    12. Astrid Kunze, 2016. "Parental leave and maternal labor supply," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 279-279, July.
    13. repec:spr:jlabrs:v:51:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s12651-017-0230-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Grimshaw, Damian. & Rubery, Jill., 2015. "The motherhood pay gap : a review of the issues, theory and international evidence," ILO Working Papers 994873763402676, International Labour Organization.
    15. repec:iza:izawol:journl:2017:n:359 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Motherhood wage gap; Compensating wage differentials;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods


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