Unité mixte de recherche 7235

Child-related career interruptions and the gender wage gap in France

Dominique Meurs, Ariane Pailhé, Sophie Ponthieux

[en]In this paper, we investigate the extent of the effects of children and child-related time out of the labor market on the gender wage gap in France, with special attention to its impact on the accumulation and composition of human capital. Measuring this impact requires detailed information on the individuals‟ activity history that is rarely available. The French survey « Families and Employers » (Ined, 2005) provides this information. We first look at men’s and women’s wage determinants, including the penalties associated with unemployment and time out of the labor market. We find that having controlled for the jobs’ characteristics and selection into employment, there is a penalty attached to child-related time out of the labor market, which affects only women. We do not find any direct negative impact of children on women’s current hourly wage at the mean. Then for a sub-sample of men and women aged from 39 to 49, we use a decomposition of the gender wage gap into an « interruption » wage gap between women and a gender wage gap between women who have never taken child-related time out and men; we find that the wage gap between men and women who have never interrupted their participation in the labor force is essentially « unexplained », while the wage gap between women who have had child-related interruptions and women who have not is essentially « explained ».[/en]

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