Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Motherhood Employment Penalty and Gender Wage Gap Across Countries: 1990–2010

Chu, Yu-Wei Luke and Cuffe, Harold E. and Doan, Nguyen (2020): Motherhood Employment Penalty and Gender Wage Gap Across Countries: 1990–2010.

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Abstract

In this paper, we use twin birth as an instrument to estimate the effects of fertility on female labor force participation using 70 censuses from 36 countries in 1990–2010. We document a strong relationship between the gender wage gap and the size of the motherhood penalty. The penalty is smallest in countries with small gender wage gaps. Both cross- and within-country relationships between motherhood penalty and gender wage gap remain strong and negative even when we condition on per-capita GDP and educational attainment. Our estimates suggest that a reduction of 1-percentage-point in the gender wage gap is associated with a decrease of 0.45–0.65 percentage-points in the estimated motherhood employment penalty.

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