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The Parental Gender Earnings Gap in the United States

Author

Listed:
  • 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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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2017/CES-WP-17-68.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2017
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Martha J. Bailey & Brad Hershbein & Amalia R. Miller, 2012. "The Opt-In Revolution? Contraception and the Gender Gap in Wages," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 225-254, July.
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    3. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Jenna Stearns, 2016. "Family Inequality: Diverging Patterns in Marriage, Cohabitation, and Childbearing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 79-102, Spring.
    4. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
    5. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 730-770, August.
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    7. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
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    11. Julie L. Hotchkiss & M. Melinda Pitts & Mary Beth Walker, 2017. "Impact of first birth career interruption on earnings: evidence from administrative data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(35), pages 3509-3522, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Del Rey & Maria Racionero & Jose I. Silva, 2018. "Labor Market Effects of Reducing the Gender Gap in Parental Leave Entitlements," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2018-663, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.

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