The Family Gap in Pay: New Evidence for 1993 to 2013

Pal, Ipshita; Waldfogel, Jane

This paper provides new evidence on the family gap in pay – the differential in hourly wages between women with children and women without children. We focus on the period 1993 to 2013, two decades that include important welfare reforms as well as contrasting economic cycles. We use data from the Current Population Survey and adjust for selection into motherhood, by estimating ordinary least square models and applying augmented inverse probability of treatment weighting, using the standard doubly robust estimator. For women overall, we find a decline in the family gap over this period from 6-7% in 1993-1995 to about 1% in 2011-2013. However, results vary by marital status, education, race/ethnicity, immigration status, temporal flexibility, and occupation. The most striking difference we find is between mothers who are married and those who are not. The family penalty declined for married mothers and was replaced by a wage bonus in the most recent time period, whereas for unmarried mothers, a wage penalty persisted throughout the two decades, rising to a notable high of 10% in the period 1996-1998.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Columbia Population Research Center
Columbia Population Research Center
Columbia Population Research Center Working Papers, 15-01
Published Here
October 17, 2016