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The Family Gap Reconsidered: What Wombmates Reveal


  • Marianne Simonsen

    () (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

  • Lars Skipper

    () (Institute for Local Government Studies)


We shed new light on the effects of having children on hourly wages by exploiting access to data on the entire population of employed twins in Denmark. In addition we use administrative data on absenteeism; the amount of hours off due to holidays and sickness. Our results suggest that childbearing reduces female hourly wages but the principal explanation is in fact mothers’ higher levels of absence. We find a positive wage premium for fathers both when applying OLS on the entire population of Danes and when imposing twin fixed effects in the twin sample.

Suggested Citation

  • Marianne Simonsen & Lars Skipper, 2009. "The Family Gap Reconsidered: What Wombmates Reveal," Economics Working Papers 2009-09, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2009-09

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Ekberg, John & Eriksson, Rickard & Friebel, Guido, 2013. "Parental leave — A policy evaluation of the Swedish “Daddy-Month” reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 131-143.
    3. James W. Albrecht & Per-Anders Edin & Marianne Sundström & Susan B. Vroman, 1999. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earnings: A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(2), pages 294-311.
    4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
    5. Helena Skyt Nielsen & Marianne Simonsen & Mette Verner, 2004. "Does the Gap in Family-friendly Policies Drive the Family Gap?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(4), pages 721-744, December.
    6. Annette Bergemann & Regina Riphahn, 2011. "Female labour supply and parental leave benefits - the causal effect of paying higher transfers for a shorter period of time," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 17-20.
    7. Stephen G. Donald & Kevin Lang, 2007. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences and Other Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 221-233, May.
    8. Elina Pylkkänen & Nina Smith, 2003. "Career Interruptions Due to Parental Leave: A Comparative Study of Denmark and Sweden," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 1, OECD Publishing.
    9. Eriksson, Rickard, 2005. "Parental Leave in Sweden: The Effects of the Second Daddy Month," Working Paper Series 9/2005, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
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    More about this item


    Fertility; wages; twins;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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