IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ehl/lserod/6481.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The family gap in pay: evidence from seven industrialised countries

Author

Listed:
  • Harkness, Susan
  • Waldfogel, Jane

Abstract

In this paper we use microdata on employment and earnings from a variety of industrialised countries to investigate the family gap in pay - the differential in hourly wages between women with children and women without children. We present results from seven countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Finland, and Sweden. We find that there is a good deal of variation across our sample countries in the effects of children on women's employment. We also find large differences in the effects of children on women's hourly wages even after controlling for differences between women with children and women without children in characteristics such as age and education. Among the seven countries we study here, the United Kingdom displays the largest wage penalties to children. The family gap in pay is larger in the U.K. than in other countries because of the higher propensity of U.K. mothers to work in low-paid part-time jobs but also because even among full-timers, women with children in the U.K. are lower paid relative to other women than are mothers in other countries. Why does the family gap in pay vary so much across countries? We find that the variation in the family gap in pay across countries is not primarily due to differential selection into employment or to differences in wage structure. We therefore suggest that future research should examine the impact of family policies such as maternity leave and child care on the family gap in pay.

Suggested Citation

  • Harkness, Susan & Waldfogel, Jane, 1999. "The family gap in pay: evidence from seven industrialised countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6481, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6481
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6481/
    File Function: Open access version.
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mincer, Jacob & Polachek, Solomon, 1974. "Family Investment in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 76-108, Part II, .
    2. David Neumark & Sanders Korenman, 1994. "Sources of Bias in Women's Wage Equations: Results Using Sibling Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 379-405.
    3. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    4. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence Kahn, 1995. "The Gender Earnings Gap: Some International Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: Differences and Changes in Wage Structures, pages 105-144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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 33-58, January.
    6. Susan Harkness, 1996. "The gender earnings gap: evidence from the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(2), pages 1-36, May.
    7. Jane Waldfogel, 1998. "Understanding the "Family Gap" in Pay for Women with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 137-156, Winter.
    8. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Erin Todd & Dennis Sullivan, 2002. "Children and Household Income Packages: A Cross-National Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 359-362, May.
    2. Colm Harmon & Claire Finn & Arnaud Chevalier & Tarja Viitanen, 2006. "The economics of early childhood care and education : technical research paper for the National Economic and Social Forum," Open Access publications 10197/671, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    3. Zhang, Xuelin, 2008. "Emploi des meres canadiennes apres la naissance d'un enfant et trajectoires des gains de leurs homologues occupees de facon continue, 1983 a 2004," Direction des études analytiques : documents de recherche 2008314f, Statistics Canada, Direction des études analytiques.
    4. Rafael Garduño-Rivera, 2013. "Factors that Influence Women’s Economic Participation in Mexico," Economía Mexicana NUEVA ÉPOCA, , vol. 0(4, Cierre), pages 541-564.
    5. Cooke, Lynn Prince, 2000. "Gender Agency at the Intersection of State, Market and Family: Changes in Fertility and Maternal Labor Supply in Eight Countries," IRISS Working Paper Series 2000-09, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    6. Erin Todd, 2001. "Educational Attainment and Family Gaps in Womens Wages: Evidence from Five Industrialized Countries," LIS Working papers 246, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    7. Ina GANGULI & Ricardo HAUSMANN & Martina VIARENGO, 2014. "Closing the gender gap in education: What is the state of gaps in labour force participation for women, wives and mothers?," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 153(2), pages 173-207, June.
    8. Arnaud Dupuy & Daniel Fernandez-Kranz, 2011. "International differences in the family gap in pay: the role of labour market institutions," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 413-438.
    9. Cooke, Lynn Prince, 2001. "Impact of Dual Careers on Average Family Size: Comparison of 11 Countries," IRISS Working Paper Series 2001-05, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    10. Heather Boushey, 2008. "Family Friendly Policies: Helping Mothers Make Ends Meet," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 66(1), pages 51-70.
    11. Evandrou, Maria & Falkingham, Jane & Sefton, Tom, 2008. "Women’s family histories and incomes in later life in the UK, US and West Germany," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 43864, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. Nicola Dickmann, 2003. "Fertility and Family Income on the Move: An International Comparison Over 20 Years," LIS Working papers 360, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Women's earnings; effects of children on incomes;

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6481. 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: (LSERO Manager). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/lsepsuk.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.