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The role of parenthood on the gender gap among top earners

Aline Bütikofer, Sissel Jensen and Kjell G Salvanes ()

European Economic Review, 2018, vol. 109, issue C, 103-123

Abstract: Is the wage penalty due to motherhood larger among highly qualified women? In this paper, we study the effect of parenthood on the careers of high-achieving women relative to high-achieving men in a set of high-earning professions with either nonlinear or linear wage structures. Using Norwegian registry data, we find that the child earnings penalty for mothers in professions with a nonlinear wage structure, MBAs and lawyers, is substantially larger than for mothers in professions with a linear wage structure. The gender earnings gap for MBA and law graduates is around 30%, but substantially less for STEM and medicine graduates, 10 years after childbirth. In addition, we provide some descriptive statistics on the role of fertility timing on the child earnings penalty.

Keywords: Top earners; Gender differences; Child penalty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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