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Estimating the wage penalty for maternal leave

  • Buligescu Bianca
  • Crombrugghe Denis de
  • Mentesoglu Gülcin
  • Montizaan Raymond

    (ROA rm)

The focus of this paper is the size of the wage penalty due to maternal leave incurred by working mothers in Germany. Existing estimates suggest two-digit penalties of up to 30 percent, with very little rebound over time. We apply recent panel data methods designed to address problems of sample selectivity, unobserved heterogeneity and endogeneity to German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) data. The selectivity issue arises because no wage is observed for employees who are on leave. Heterogeneity takes the form of unobserved individual effects correlated with explanatory variables. Endogeneity is due to the simultaneity of the wage and participation outcomes. Heckman’s classic treatment of selectivity requires extensions to deal with both heterogeneity and simultaneity. We present an extension for the case of a censored tobit participation model and use it to exploit the actual working hours data available in GSOEP. We also investigate the sensitivity of the results to the choice of method. Our estimates imply a wage penalty due to maternal leave which although substantial remains below previous estimates. Furthermore, we find that this penalty is less persistent than other studies suggest. Five years after the career interruption mothers seem to have caught up.

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Paper provided by Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) in its series ROA Research Memorandum with number 005.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:unm:umaror:2008005
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  1. Lundberg, Shelly & Rose, Elaina, 2000. "Parenthood and the earnings of married men and women," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 689-710, November.
  2. Albrecht, J & Edin, P-A & Sundstrom, M & Vroman, S-B, 1996. "Career Interruptions and Subsequent Earning : A Reexamination Using Swedish Data," Papers 1996-23, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  3. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  4. Jacob Mincer & Haim Ofek, 1982. "Interrupted Work Careers: Depreciation and Restoration of Human Capital," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(1), pages 3-24.
  5. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 76-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1995. "Selection corrections for panel data models under conditional mean independence assumptions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 115-132, July.
  7. Beblo, Miriam & Bender, Stefan & Wolf, Elke, 2006. "The wage effects of entering motherhood: a within-firm matching approach," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-53, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Deborah J. Anderson & Melissa Binder & Kate Krause, 2002. "The Motherhood Wage Penalty: Which Mothers Pay It and Why?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 354-358, May.
  9. Stefan Bender & Annette Kohlmann & Stefan Lang, 2003. "Women, work, and motherhood: changing employment penalties for motherhood in West Germany after 1945 - a comparative analysis of cohorts born in 1934-1971," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-006, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  10. Davies, Rhys & Pierre, Gaelle, 2005. "The family gap in pay in Europe: a cross-country study," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 469-486, August.
  11. 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.
  12. Lars Skipper & Marianne Simonsen, 2006. "The costs of motherhood: an analysis using matching estimators," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 919-934.
  13. Mette Ejrnæs & Astrid Kunze, 2004. "Wage Dips and Drops around First Birth," CAM Working Papers 2004-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  14. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
  15. Waldfogel, Jane, 1998. "The Family Gap for Young Women in the United States and Britain: Can Maternity Leave Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 505-45, July.
  16. Dustmann, Christian & van Soest, Arthur, 1998. "Public and private sector wages of male workers in Germany," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(8), pages 1417-1441, September.
  17. repec:iza:izadps:dp509 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Beblo, Miriam & Bender, Stefan & Wolf, Elke, 2006. "The wage effects of entering motherhood : a within-firm matching approach," IAB Discussion Paper 200613, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  19. Ekaterini Kyriazidou, 1997. "Estimation of a Panel Data Sample Selection Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1335-1364, November.
  20. Beblo, Miriam & Wolf, Elke, 2002. "Wage Penalties for Career Interruptions: An Empirical Analysis for West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-45, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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