IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/fubsbe/20223.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The gender gap in lifetime earnings: The role of parenthood

Author

Listed:
  • Glaubitz, Rick
  • Harnack-Eber, Astrid
  • Wetter, Miriam

Abstract

To obtain a more complete understanding of the persisting gender earnings gap in Germany, this paper investigates both the cross-sectional and biographical dimension of gender inequalities. Using an Oaxaca Blinder decomposition, we show that the gender gap in annual earnings is largely driven by women's lower work experience and intensive margin of labor supply. Based on a dynamic microsimulation model, we then estimate how gender differences accumulate over work lives to account for the biographical dimension of the gender gap. We observe an average gender lifetime earnings gap of 51.5 percent for birth cohorts 1964-1972. We show that this unadjusted gender lifetime earnings gap increases strongly with the number of children, ranging from 17.8 percent for childless women to 68.0 percent for women with three or more children. However, using a counterfactual analysis we find that the adjusted gender lifetime earnings gap of 10 percent differs only slightly by women's family background.

Suggested Citation

  • Glaubitz, Rick & Harnack-Eber, Astrid & Wetter, Miriam, 2022. "The gender gap in lifetime earnings: The role of parenthood," Discussion Papers 2022/3, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fubsbe:20223
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/249922/1/1789983819.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jérôme Adda & Christian Dustmann & Katrien Stevens, 2017. "The Career Costs of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(2), pages 293-337.
    2. Sierminska, Eva & Piazzalunga, Daniela & Grabka, Markus M., 2018. "Transitioning towards more equality? Wealth gender differences and the changing role of explanatory factors over time," GLO Discussion Paper Series 252, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Timm Bönke & Giacomo Corneo & Holger Lüthen, 2015. "Lifetime Earnings Inequality in Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 171-208.
    4. Mette Ejrnæs & Astrid Kunze, 2013. "Work and Wage Dynamics around Childbirth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(3), pages 856-877, July.
    5. Coronado Julia Lynn & Fullerton Don & Glass Thomas, 2011. "The Progressivity of Social Security," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-45, November.
    6. Holger Bonin & Karsten Reuss & Holger Stichnoth, 2015. "Life-Cycle Incidence of Family Policy Measures in Germany: Evidence from a Dynamic Microsimulation Model," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 770, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    7. Marianne Bertrand & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2010. "Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Financial and Corporate Sectors," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 228-255, July.
    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. Peter Levell & Jonathan Shaw, 2016. "Constructing Full Adult Life-cycles from Short Panels," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 9(2), pages 5-40.
    10. Plümper, Thomas & Troeger, Vera E., 2007. "Efficient Estimation of Time-Invariant and Rarely Changing Variables in Finite Sample Panel Analyses with Unit Fixed Effects," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(2), pages 124-139, April.
    11. Christian Westermeier & Anika Rasner & Markus M. Grabka, 2012. "The Prospects of the Baby Boomers: Methodological Challenges in Projecting the Lives of an Aging Cohort," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 440, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    12. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1308-1320, September.
    13. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    14. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259, Elsevier.
    15. Fatih Guvenen & Greg Kaplan & Jae Song, 2014. "The Glass Ceiling and the Paper Floor: Gender Differences among Top Earners, 1981–2012," Working Papers 716, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    16. Markus Gangl & Andrea Ziefle, 2009. "Motherhood, labor force behavior, and women’s careers: An empirical assessment of the wage penalty for motherhood in britain, germany, and the united states," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(2), pages 341-369, May.
    17. Nikolay Angelov & Per Johansson & Erica Lindahl, 2016. "Parenthood and the Gender Gap in Pay," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 545-579.
    18. Christina Boll & Malte Jahn & Andreas Lagemann, 2017. "The gender lifetime earnings gap—exploring gendered pay from the life course perspective," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 25(1), pages 1-53, March.
    19. Bhuller, Manudeep & Mogstad, Magne & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2011. "Life-Cycle Bias and the Returns to Schooling in Current and Lifetime Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 5788, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Jeffrey R. Brown & Julia Lynn Coronado & Don Fullerton, 2009. "Is Social Security Part of the Social Safety Net?," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 23, pages 37-72, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Gallen, Yana & Lesner, Rune V. & Vejlin, Rune, 2019. "The labor market gender gap in Denmark: Sorting out the past 30 years," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 58-67.
    22. Markus Grabka & Jan Marcus & Eva Sierminska, 2015. "Wealth distribution within couples," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 459-486, September.
    23. Joanna Tyrowicz & Lucas van der Velde & Irene van Staveren, 2018. "Does Age Exacerbate the Gender-Wage Gap? New Method and Evidence From Germany, 1984–2014," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(4), pages 108-130, October.
    24. Henrik Kleven & Camille Landais & Jakob Egholt Søgaard, 2019. "Children and Gender Inequality: Evidence from Denmark," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 181-209, October.
    25. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
    26. Henrik Kleven & Camille Landais, 2017. "Gender Inequality and Economic Development: Fertility, Education and Norms," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(334), pages 180-209, April.
    27. Claudia Goldin, 2014. "A Grand Gender Convergence: Its Last Chapter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(4), pages 1091-1119, April.
    28. Anders Björklund, 1993. "A Comparison Between Actual Distributions Of Annual And Lifetime Income: Sweden 1951–89," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(4), pages 377-386, December.
    29. Brenner, Jan, 2010. "Life-cycle variations in the association between current and lifetime earnings: Evidence for German natives and guest workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 392-406, April.
    30. Giorgio Brunello & Guglielmo Weber & Christoph T. Weiss, 2017. "Books are Forever: Early Life Conditions, Education and Lifetime Earnings in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(600), pages 271-296, March.
    31. Fatih Guvenen & Greg Kaplan & Jae Song & Justin Weidner, 2017. "Lifetime Incomes in the United States over Six Decades," NBER Working Papers 23371, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. Geyer, Johannes & Steiner, Viktor, 2014. "Future public pensions and changing employment patterns across birth cohorts," Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 172-209, April.
    33. Giorgio Brunello & Guglielmo Weber & Christoph T. Weiss, 2017. "Books are Forever: Early Life Conditions, Education and Lifetime Earnings in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(600), pages 271-296, March.
    34. 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.
    35. Jinjing Li & Cathal O'Donoghue, 2013. "A survey of dynamic microsimulation models: uses, model structure and methodology," International Journal of Microsimulation, International Microsimulation Association, vol. 6(2), pages 3-55.
    36. Zucchelli, E & Jones, A.M & Rice, N, 2010. "The evaluation of health policies through microsimulation methods," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 10/03, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    37. Miriam Beblo & Elke Wolf, 2002. "Die Folgekosten von Erwerbsunterbrechungen," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 71(1), pages 83-94.
    38. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    39. Markus M. Grabka & Jan Goebel, 2017. "Realeinkommen sind von 1991 bis 2014 im Durchschnitt gestiegen - erste Anzeichen für wieder zunehmende Einkommensungleichheit," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 84(4), pages 71-82.
    40. Pence Karen M., 2006. "The Role of Wealth Transformations: An Application to Estimating the Effect of Tax Incentives on Saving," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, July.
    41. Chinhui Juhn & Kristin McCue, 2017. "Specialization Then and Now: Marriage, Children, and the Gender Earnings Gap across Cohorts," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 183-204, Winter.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Rick Glaubitz & Astrid Harnack-Eber & Miriam Wetter, 2022. "The Gender Gap in Lifetime Earnings: The Role of Parenthood," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 2001, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Nieto, Adrián, 2021. "Native-immigrant differences in the effect of children on the gender pay gap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 654-680.
    3. Borghorst, Malte & Mulalic, Ismir & van Ommeren, Jos, 2021. "Commuting, Children and the Gender Wage Gap," Working Papers 15-2021, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    4. Henrik Kleven & Camille Landais & Jakob Egholt Søgaard, 2019. "Children and Gender Inequality: Evidence from Denmark," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 181-209, October.
    5. Pierre-Jean Messe & Jeremy Tanguy, 2022. "Does gender equality bargaining reduce child penalty? Evidence from France," TEPP Working Paper 2022-19, TEPP.
    6. Sara Cools & Simen Markussen & Marte Strøm, 2017. "Children and Careers: How Family Size Affects Parents’ Labor Market Outcomes in the Long Run," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(5), pages 1773-1793, October.
    7. Berniell, Inés & Berniell, Lucila & de la Mata, Dolores & Edo, María & Marchionni, Mariana, 2023. "Motherhood and flexible jobs: Evidence from Latin American countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 167(C).
    8. Strittmatter, Anthony & Wunsch, Conny, 2021. "The Gender Pay Gap Revisited with Big Data: Do Methodological Choices Matter?," Working papers 2021/05, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
    9. Bütikofer, Aline & Jensen, Sissel & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2018. "The role of parenthood on the gender gap among top earners," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 103-123.
    10. Henrik Kleven & Camille Landais, 2017. "Gender Inequality and Economic Development: Fertility, Education and Norms," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 84(334), pages 180-209, April.
    11. Astrid Kunze, 2020. "The effect of children on male earnings and inequality," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 683-710, September.
    12. Benny, Liza & Bhalotra, Sonia & Fernández, Manuel, 2021. "Occupation flexibility and the graduate gender wage gap in the UK," ISER Working Paper Series 2021-05, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    13. Margarita Kiryushina & Victor Rudakov, 2021. "The Gender Gap in Early-Career Wages of Universities' and Vocational Education Institutes' Graduates," Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, National Research University Higher School of Economics, issue 2, pages 172-198.
    14. Кирюшина М. А. & Рудаков В. Н., 2021. "Гендерные Различия В Заработной Плате Выпускников Вузов И Учреждений Спо На Начальном Этапе Карьеры," Вопросы образования // Educational Studies Moscow, National Research University Higher School of Economics, issue 2, pages 172-198.
    15. Cemal Eren Arbatlı & Quamrul H. Ashraf & Oded Galor & Marc Klemp, 2020. "Diversity and Conflict," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(2), pages 727-797, March.
    16. Ghazala Azmat & Lena Hensvik & Olof Rosenqvist, 2021. "Workplace Presenteeism, Job Substitutability and Gender Inequality," SciencePo Working papers Main hal-03812822, HAL.
    17. Christina Boll & Malte Jahn & Andreas Lagemann, 2017. "The gender lifetime earnings gap—exploring gendered pay from the life course perspective," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 25(1), pages 1-53, March.
    18. Petrongolo, Barbara & Ronchi, Maddalena, 2020. "Gender gaps and the structure of local labor markets," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    19. Rosenqvist, Olof, 2022. "Reducing the gender gap in parental leave through economic incentives? – Evidence from the gender equality bonus in Sweden," Working Paper Series 2022:22, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    20. Anja Roth, 2020. "How the provision of childcare affects attitudes towards maternal employment," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, Springer;Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics, vol. 156(1), pages 1-30, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Lifetime Earnings; Gender Inequality; Parenthood; Dynamic Microsimulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:zbw:fubsbe:20223. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/fwfubde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.