The Motherhood Wage Gap – What about Job Amenities?

(2012), Labour Economics 19(1):59ff

Women with children tend to earn lower hourly wages than women without children — a shortfall known as
the ‘motherhood wage gap’. While many studies provide evidence for this empirical fact and explore several
hypotheses about its causes, the impact of motherhood on job dimensions other than wages has scarcely been
investigated. In order to assess changes in women's jobs around motherhood, I use data from the German
Socio-Economic Panel and employ a first difference analysis. The results reveal that women when having
children accommodate at their original employer primarily through adjustments in working hours. Yet, when
changing the employer women adjust their jobs in several dimensions, such as different aspects of the work
schedule (working hours, work at night or according to a flexible schedule) as well as the level of stress.
Further analysis provides some limited support for the motherhood wage gap being explained by adjustments
in the work conditions.