Misra, Joya; Strader, Eiko
September 2013
Journal of International Affairs;Fall/Winter2013, Vol. 67 Issue 1, p27
Academic Journal
Despite dramatic changes in women's re-presentation in employment, the gender gap in pay remains substantial in most advanced, wealthy countries. Our analyses show the important role that parenthood plays in explaining the gender wage gap. While childless women's wages are converging with that of childless men, mothers' wages are substantially lower than fathers' wages in many countries. Fathers earn bonuses relative to childless men, while mothers suffer penalties relative to childless women. Even though the gender gap for childless workers has been declining over time, the motherhood penalty remains stable, controlling for a variety of factors such as education and experience. We show how the gender gap, motherhood penalties, and fatherhood bonuses differ across a range of wealthy countries. Furthermore, we discuss how maternity leaves, paternity leaves, parental leaves, and publicly subsidized childcare can help address these inequalities by helping parents-both men and women-engage in employment and caregiving. Finally, we argue that policies need to target wage inequality not only by gender, but also by parenthood.


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