IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Pathways and penalties: Mothers’ employment trajectories and wage growth in the Families and Children Study

  • Francesca Bastagli
  • Kitty Stewart

This paper uses panel data from the British Families and Children Study to analyse the employment patterns of women with children and the ways in which part-time work and interruptions in paid employment influence the wages of working mothers. It pays particular attention to how the relationship between employment trajectory and wage progression compares for higher-skilled and lower-skilled mothers and for mothers of younger and older children. We find that mothers follow a wide variety of employment pathways, the majority working part-time, moving between full-time and part-time employment or moving in and out of work as they combine motherhood with paid employment. In support of results from existing research on the "part-time" wage penalty and the "motherhood gap", we find that there are wage penalties associated with unstable work trajectories. Our analysis also shows that such wage penalties are significantly smaller for lower-skilled than higher-skilled women and are experienced by mothers of children of all ages, although the impact appears larger for mothers of younger children. In the final sections, the paper discusses the policy implications that arise from these findings with reference to recent debates on maternal employment, wage progression and poverty reduction.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE in its series CASE Papers with number case157.

in new window

Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cep:sticas:case157
Contact details of provider: Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:sticas:case157. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.