Motherhood and Gender Wage Differentials within a Chinese Firm

42 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2018 Last revised: 28 Dec 2019

See all articles by Yi Chen

Yi Chen

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management

Hong Zhang

Jinan University - Institute of Industrial Economics

Li-An Zhou

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management

Date Written: July 16, 2018

Abstract

The within-firm gender wage gap plays an important role in understanding the overall gender gap in the labor market. This paper describes how parenthood is associated with the within-firm gender gap using a unique personnel dataset from a large Chinese company. We find that the wage gap is small in the early stages of careers and becomes more evident when female employees get married. The wage gap peaks at childbirth, returning to the pre-pregnancy level ten months afterwards. Following this stage, the wage gap gradually widens and persists. Whereas the short-term peak around childbirth can be explained by female employees' reduced working hours, the long-term trend is caused by women's concentration in lower-level jobs. Our study highlights the importance of internal gender segregation in understanding gender wage differentials.

Keywords: Firm Personnel Data, Within-firm Gender Gap, Motherhood Wage Penalty

JEL Classification: J16, J31, M50

Suggested Citation

Chen, Yi and Zhang, Hong and Zhou, Li-An, Motherhood and Gender Wage Differentials within a Chinese Firm (July 16, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3214432 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3214432

Yi Chen (Contact Author)

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management ( email )

100 Haike Rd
Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai
China

Hong Zhang

Jinan University - Institute of Industrial Economics ( email )

Guangdong
China

Li-An Zhou

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management ( email )

Peking University
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

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