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The emergence of the motherhood premium: recent trends in the motherhood wage gap across the wage distribution

Eunhye Kwak ()
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Eunhye Kwak: Korea Labor Institute

Review of Economics of the Household, 2022, vol. 20, issue 4, No 9, 1323-1343

Abstract: Abstract This paper estimates recent trends in the motherhood wage gap (MWG) across the female wage distribution and explores several drivers of the trend. The result shows that the large convergence of the MWG observed on average is a high-quantile phenomenon. Maternal relative wages sharply increase at the upper wage quantiles in the mid-1990s, leading to a reversed MWG (motherhood premium) since the mid-2000s. This positive selection into motherhood among high-wage women comes from mothers who live with a husband, who have first births in their late ages, and who work for long hours. The MWG has narrowed over time with widening wage dispersion among mothers, and the MWG trend is associated with changing fertility patterns and high-wage mothers’ working hours.

Keywords: Motherhood wage gap; Motherhood premium; Unconditional quantile regression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J11 J13 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s11150-021-09594-3

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