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Chutes and Ladders: Dual Tracks and the Motherhood Dip

  • Fernández-Kranz, Daniel

    ()

    (IE Business School, Madrid)

  • Lacuesta, Aitor

    ()

    (Bank of Spain)

  • Rodríguez-Planas, Núria

    ()

    (Queens College, CUNY)

Using rich panel data recently available from Spanish Social Security records, we find that a negative motherhood earnings differential of 2.3 log points remains even after controlling for both individual- and firm-level unobserved heterogeneity. The analysis of the mothers and childless women's earnings trajectories over time reveals that "mothers to be" experience important earnings increases (of up to 6 log points) several years prior to giving birth to their first child. However, this earnings' advantage gets seriously hit right after birth, and it is not until nine years later that mothers' earnings return to their pre-birth (relative) levels. The study finds that heterogeneity matters as most of the motherhood penalty and earnings' dip is driven by mothers working in the primary labor market (with permanent contracts). For these women, much of the earnings losses occur because mothers change employers to work part-time, or (if they stay with their former employer) they take leave of absence. An instrumental variable approach is used to address concerns of selection into type of contract. We exploit variation in the amount, timing and profiling of subsidies offered to firms when hiring permanent workers, a policy that started to be implemented in Spain in 1997.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5403.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'The Motherhood Earnings Dip: Evidence from Administrative Records' in: Journal of Human Resources, 2013, 48 (1), 169-197
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5403
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  1. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina, 2002. "Children and Career Interruptions: The Family Gap in Denmark," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(276), pages 609-29, November.
  2. J.Ignacio García Pérez & Yolanda Rebollo Sanz, 2007. "The use of permanent contracts across Spanish regions: Do regional wage subsidies work?," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2007/07, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  3. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, 2000. "Work transitions into and out of involuntary temporary employment in a segmented market: Evidence from Spain," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(2), pages 309-325, January.
  4. Bloom, D.E. & Freeman, R.B. & Blackburn, M.L., 1991. "Fertility Timing, Wages, and Human Capital," Discussion Papers 1991_49, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. 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, 09.
  6. Brownstone, David & Valletta, Robert G, 1996. "Modeling Earnings Measurement Error: A Multiple Imputation Approach," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt3gb0k9b5, University of California Transportation Center.
  7. Cristina Barceló & Ernesto Villanueva, 2010. "The response of household wealth to the risk of losing the job: evidence from differences in firing costs," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 1002, Banco de Espa�a.
  8. Mario García-Ferreira & Ernesto Villanueva, 2007. "Employment risk and household formation: evidence from differences in firing costs," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0737, Banco de Espa�a.
  9. Sara Rica & Amaia Iza, 2005. "Career Planning in Spain: Do Fixed-term Contracts Delay Marriage and Parenthood?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 49-73, November.
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