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New Evidence on the Motherhood Wage Gap

Author

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  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina

    () (San Diego State University)

  • Kimmel, Jean

    () (Western Michigan University)

Abstract

Using data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we assess the role of employment-based health insurance offers in explaining the motherhood wage gap. Researchers have been aware of the existence of a motherhood gap for many years; yet, the literature has failed to address the role of non-wage compensation in explaining the motherhood wage gap despite the increasing importance of non-wage benefits in total compensation packages. As hedonic wage theory suggests, mothers might view health benefits as desirable and trade-off wages for health insurance. Thus, lower wages for mothers might reflect their relative preferences for jobs offering health insurance. We estimate an endogenous switching wage equation model to account for the self-selection and, thus, endogeneity of having an employment-based health insurance offer. We find that, once the endogeneity of having an employment-based health insurance offer is accounted for, the motherhood wage gap disappears.

Suggested Citation

  • Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Kimmel, Jean, 2008. "New Evidence on the Motherhood Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 3662, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3662
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1992. "Marriage, Motherhood, and Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 233-255.
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    11. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Jean Kimmel, 2005. "“The Motherhood Wage Gap for Women in the United States: The Importance of College and Fertility Delay”," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 17-48, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Felfe, Christina, 2012. "The motherhood wage gap: What about job amenities?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 59-67.
    2. Luis Gamboa & Blanca Zuluaga, 2013. "Is There a Motherhood Penalty? Decomposing the Family Wage Gap in Colombia," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 421-434, December.
    3. Tarja Viitanen, 2014. "The motherhood wage gap in the UK over the life cycle," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 259-276, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    motherhood wage gap; non-wage compensation; health insurance;

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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