Children and Gender Inequality: Evidence from Denmark

59 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2018

See all articles by Henrik Kleven

Henrik Kleven

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Camille Landais

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Jakob Egholt Søgaard

University of Copenhagen

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2018

Abstract

Despite considerable gender convergence over time, substantial gender inequality persists in all countries. Using Danish administrative data from 1980-2013 and an event study approach, we show that most of the remaining gender inequality in earnings is due to children. The arrival of children creates a gender gap in earnings of around 20% in the long run, driven in roughly equal proportions by labor force participation, hours of work, and wage rates. Underlying these "child penalties", we find clear dynamic impacts on occupation, promotion to manager, sector, and the family friendliness of the firm for women relative to men. Based on a dynamic decomposition framework, we show that the fraction of gender inequality caused by child penalties has increased dramatically over time, from about 40% in 1980 to about 80% in 2013. As a possible explanation for the persistence of child penalties, we show that they are transmitted through generations, from parents to daughters (but not sons), consistent with an influence of childhood environment in the formation of women's preferences over family and career.

Suggested Citation

Kleven, Henrik and Landais, Camille and Søgaard, Jakob Egholt, Children and Gender Inequality: Evidence from Denmark (January 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12594. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3106797

Henrik Kleven (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Camille Landais

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Jakob Egholt Søgaard

University of Copenhagen ( email )

Nørregade 10
Copenhagen, København DK-1165
Denmark

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