Skip to content

Journal Article

Motherhood, labor force behavior, and women's careers: an empirical assessment of the wage penalty for motherhood in Britain, Germany, and the United States

Authors

Publication date

2009

Abstract

Using harmonized longitudinal data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), we trace career prospects after motherhood for fi ve cohorts of American, British, and West German women around the 1960s. We establish wage penalties for motherhood between 9% and 18% per child, with wage losses among American and British mothers being lower than those experienced by mothers in Germany. Labor market mechanisms generating the observed wage penalty for motherhood differ markedly across countries, however. For British and American women, work interruptions and subsequent mobility into mother-friendly jobs fully account for mothers' wage losses. In contrast, respective penalties are considerably smaller in Germany, yet we observe a substantial residual wage penalty that is unaccounted for by mothers' observable labor market behavior. We interpret this fi nding as indicating a comparatively more pronounced role for statistical discrimination against mothers in the German labor market. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Copyright of Demography is the property of Population Association of America and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts)

Published in

Demography

Volume

46 (2):341-369

Subjects

Labour Market, Childbearing: Fertility, and Wages And Earnings

Links

http://serlib0.essex.ac.uk/record=b1612990~S5

Notes

No doi given; Web of Knowledge alert; Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*


Related publications

  1. Research from University of Wisconsin provides new data about demographics

    Markus Gangl and Andrea Ziefle

#512277


Research home

Research home

News

Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author

Podcasts

Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society

Projects

Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs

Events

Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report

Themes

Key research themes and areas of interest