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The Parental Gender Earnings Gap in the United States

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  • YoonKyung Chung
  • Barbara Downs
  • Danielle H. Sandler
  • Robert Sienkiewicz

Abstract

This paper examines the parental gender earnings gap, the within-couple differences in earnings over time, before and after the birth of a child. The presence and timing of children are important components of the gender wage gap, but there is selection in both decisions. We estimate the earnings gap between male and female spouses over time, which allows us to control for this timing choice as well as other shared external earnings shifters, such as the local labor market. We use Social Security Administration Detail Earnings Records (SSA-DER) data linked to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to examine a panel of earnings from 1978 to 2011 for the individuals in the SIPP sample. Our main results show that the spousal earnings gap doubles between two years before the birth of the first child and the year after that child is born. After the child's first year of life the gap continues to grow for the next five years, but at a much slower rate, then tapers off and even begins to fall once the child reaches school-age.

Suggested Citation

  • YoonKyung Chung & Barbara Downs & Danielle H. Sandler & Robert Sienkiewicz, 2017. "The Parental Gender Earnings Gap in the United States," Working Papers 17-68, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:17-68
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Benjamin Hansen & Drew McNichols, 2020. "Information and the Persistence of the Gender Wage Gap: Early Evidence from California's Salary History Ban," NBER Working Papers 27054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gutierrez, Federico H., 2018. "Commuting Patterns, the Spatial Distribution of Jobs and the Gender Pay Gap in the U.S," GLO Discussion Paper Series 282, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    4. Ong, David & Yang, Yu (Alan) & Zhang, Junsen, 2020. "Hard to get: The scarcity of women and the competition for high-income men in urban China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    5. Lisa Schulkind & Danielle H. Sandler, 2019. "The Timing of Teenage Births: Estimating the Effect on High School Graduation and Later-Life Outcomes," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(1), pages 345-365, February.
    6. Thomas B. Foster & Marta Murray-Close & Liana Christin Landivar & Mark deWolf, 2020. "An Evaluation of the Gender Wage Gap Using Linked Survey and Administrative Data," Working Papers 20-34, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. Sarah H. Bana & Kelly Bedard & Maya Rossin‐Slater, 2020. "The Impacts of Paid Family Leave Benefits: Regression Kink Evidence from California Administrative Data," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(4), pages 888-929, September.
    8. Danielle Sandler & Nichole Szembrot, 2019. "Maternal Labor Dynamics: Participation, Earnings, and Employer Changes," Working Papers 19-33, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    9. Tae-Youn Park & Eun-Suk Lee & John W. Budd, 2019. "What Do Unions Do for Mothers? Paid Maternity Leave Use and the Multifaceted Roles of Labor Unions," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 72(3), pages 662-692, May.
    10. Jon H. Fiva & Max-Emil M. King, 2022. "Child Penalties in Politics," CESifo Working Paper Series 9611, CESifo.
    11. Cordoba, Juan C. & Isojärvi, Anni & Li, Haoran, 2020. "Equilibrium Unemployment: The Role Of Discrimination," ISU General Staff Papers 202011140800001116, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    12. Del Rey, Elena & Racionero, Maria & Silva, Jose I., 2021. "Labour market effects of reducing the gender gap in parental leave entitlements," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    13. Elizabeth L. Doran & Ann P. Bartel & Jane Waldfogel, 2018. "Gender in the Labor Market: The Role of Equal Opportunity and Family-Friendly Policies," NBER Working Papers 25378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Ilyana Kuziemko & Jessica Pan & Jenny Shen & Ebonya Washington, 2018. "The Mommy Effect: Do women anticipate the employment effects of motherhood?," Working Papers 2018-6, Princeton University. Economics Department..
    15. Cortes, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2020. "Children and the Remaining Gender Gaps in the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 13759, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Emily Nix & Martin Eckhoff Andresen, 2019. "What Causes the Child Penalty? Evidence from Same Sex Couples and Policy Reforms," Discussion Papers 902, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

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