Childbearing and (Female) Research Productivity – A Personnel Economics Perspective on the Leaky Pipeline
University of Zurich, Institute of Business Administration, UZH Business Working Paper No. 333
19 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2013 Last revised: 8 Aug 2013
Date Written: July 22, 2013
Despite the fact that childbearing is time-consuming (i.e. associated with a negative resource effect), we descriptively find female researchers with children in business and economics to be more productive than female researchers without children. Hence, female researchers with children either manage to overcompensate the negative resource effect associated with childbearing by working harder (positive incentive effect), or only the most productive female researchers decide to go for a career in academia and have children at the same time (positive self-selection effect). Our first descriptive evidence on the timing of parenthood among more than 400 researchers in business and economics from Austria, Germany and the German-speaking part of Switzerland hints at the latter being the case: only the most productive female researchers with children dare to self-select (or are selected) into an academic career. Our results have important policy implications when it comes to reducing the “leaky pipeline” in academia.
Keywords: research productivity, female researchers, childbearing, leaky pipeline
JEL Classification: M50, J24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation