Timing Is Not Everything: How Age of Children Affects Women’s Earnings in 20 Occupation Groups

Liana C. Landivar, U.S. Census Bureau

Even as mothers have increased their labor force participation over time, researchers consistently find that the wage gap between mothers and non-mothers is larger than the wage gap between men and women. Although mothers earn less than non-mothers, prior research shows that when women have their children plays a significant role in determining the magnitude of the wage gap. Using data from the 2013 American Community Survey, this poster will explore how the motherhood wage gap varies by occupation and age of children. Based on preliminary analyses, I expect to show that the wage gap between mothers and non-mothers varies significantly depending on their occupation. Furthermore, early fertility or fertility delay only translate into wage penalties or bonuses in select occupations. These preliminary findings suggest that the motherhood wage gap is occupation-specific and that fertility delay may only be effective in reducing the wage gap in select occupations.

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 Presented in Session P8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, and Inequality/Gender, Race and Ethnicity