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Is there a motherhood penalty? Decomposing the family wage gap in Colombia

  • Luis Fernando Gamboa


    (Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá, Colombia)

  • Blanca Zuluaga


    (Universidad Icesi, Cali, Colombia)

The aim of this paper is to provide an estimation and decomposition of the motherhood wage penalty in Colombia. Our empirical strategy is based on the matching procedure designed by Ñopo (2008) for the case of gender wage gaps. This is an alternative procedure to the well-known Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method. The cross-section data of the Colombian Living Standard Survey allows us to decompose the wage gap in four components, according to the characteristics of mothers and non-mothers. We found that mothers earn, in average, 1:73% less than their counterparts without children and that this gap slightly decreases as the group includes older women. Taking into account that this procedure is sensitive to the set of variables included in the matching, several specifications are tested. The main result of the paper is obtained when considering schooling as a matching variable. Once schooling is included, the unexplained part of the gap considerably decreases and turns non significant. Thus, we do not find evidence of wage discrimination against mothers in Colombia.

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Paper provided by ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality in its series Working Papers with number 220.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:inq:inqwps:ecineq2011-220
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