The Role of Parenthood on the Gender Gap Among Top Earners

42 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2018

See all articles by Aline Butikofer

Aline Butikofer

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Sissel Jensen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics

Kjell G. Salvanes

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Date Written: July 2018

Abstract

Is the wage penalty due to motherhood larger among highly qualified women? In this paper, we study the effect of parenthood on the careers of high-achieving women relative to high-achieving men in a set of high-earning professions with either nonlinear or linear wage structures. Using Norwegian registry data, we find that the child earnings penalty for mothers in professions with a nonlinear wage structure, MBAs and lawyers, is substantially larger than for mothers in professions with a linear wage structure. The gender earnings gap for MBA and law graduates is around 30%, but substantially less for STEM and medicine graduates, 10 years after childbirth. In addition, we provide some descriptive statistics on the role of fertility timing on the child earnings penalty.

Keywords: Gender Gap, parenthood, top jobs

Suggested Citation

Butikofer, Aline and Jensen, Sissel and Salvanes, Kjell G., The Role of Parenthood on the Gender Gap Among Top Earners (July 2018). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13044. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3214562

Aline Butikofer (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

Sissel Jensen

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway

Kjell G. Salvanes

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen
Norway
+47 5 595 9315 (Phone)
+47 5 595 9543 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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