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Do women gain or lose from becoming mothers? A comparative wage analysis in 20 European countries

  • Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai

This paper analyses disparity in women’s pay across 20 European countries using EU-SILC 2006. First, a selectivity-adjusted gender pay gap is computed and examined in each of the countries. Next, the impact of parenthood is analysed. We show that women suffer a wage disadvantage compared with men all over Europe. Motherhood usually reinforces the gender gap but discrimination is more sex- than maternity-related so that it concerns all women as (potential) mothers. Fatherhood has a positive impact on men’s wages. Finally, in most countries, the wage gap between mothers and fathers is even deeper than that between women and men.

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Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series DULBEA Working Papers with number 09-11.RS.

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Length: 52 p.
Date of creation: 2009
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  1. Joan R. Rodgers, 2004. "Hourly Wages of full-time and part-time employees in Australia," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 7(2), pages 231-254, June.
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  4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
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  7. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2004. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wages Distribution," IZA Discussion Papers 1373, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1997. "Swimming Upstream: Trends in the Gender Wage Differential in 1980s," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-42, January.
  9. Genre, Véronique & Kohn, Karsten & Momferatou, Daphne, 2009. "Understanding inter-industry wage structures in the euro area," Working Paper Series 1022, European Central Bank.
  10. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S33-58, January.
  11. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  12. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "Wage Structure and Gender Earnings Differentials: An International Comparison," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages S29-62, Suppl..
  13. Danièle Meulders & Siv Gustavsson, 2006. "The rationale of motherhood choices: influence of employment conditions and public policies :MOCHO," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7734, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  14. Constantin G. Ogloblin, 1999. "The Gender earnings differential in the Russian transition economy," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(4), pages 602-627, July.
  15. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
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