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A search interpretation of the family gap

  • Zhang, Yahong

This paper proposes a general equilibrium search model to investigate what is known as the family gap: wage differentials between mothers and non-mothers. In the human capital literature a substantial amount of the family gap is left unexplained after controlling for schooling and experience. This paper suggests that differences in labor market behavior between mothers and non-mothers are an important factor in explaining the family gap. For college graduates, estimation results show that employed mothers search 70% less than non-mothers and more than 50% of the family gap can be explained by the labor market behavior differences between mothers and non-mothers. Such differences, however, can not explain the family gap for high school graduates.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0927537111001102
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 19 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 186-197

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:2:p:186-197
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2009. "Parental leave policies and parents' employment and leave-taking," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 29-54.
  2. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  3. Bowlus, A.J., 1995. "A Search Interpretation of Male-Female Wage Differentials," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9504, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  4. Koning, Pierre & Ridder, Geert & van den Berg, Gerard J, 1995. "Structural and Frictional Unemployment in an Equilibrium Search Model with Heterogeneous Agents," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(S), pages S133-51, Suppl. De.
  5. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1992. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Learning from International Comparisons," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 533-38, May.
  6. Shelley Phipps & Peter Burton & Lynn Lethbridge, 2001. "In and out of the labour market: long-term income consequences of child-related interruptions to women's paid work," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 411-429, May.
  7. Audra J. Bowlus & Nicholas M. Kiefer & George R. Neumann, 1997. "Equilibrium Search Models and The Transition from School to Work," Labor and Demography 9705004, EconWPA.
  8. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2000. "Equilibrium Search with Continuous Productivity Dispersion: Theory and Nonparametric Estimation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 305-58, May.
  9. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
  10. Bowlus, Audra J & Kiefer, Nicholas M & Neumann, George R, 1995. "Estimation of Equilibrium Wage Distributions with Heterogeneity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(S), pages S119-31, Suppl. De.
  11. Eckstein, Zvi & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1990. "Estimating a Market Equilibrium Search Model from Panel Data on Individuals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 783-808, July.
  12. Jane Waldfogel, 1998. "Understanding the "Family Gap" in Pay for Women with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 137-156, Winter.
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