Inside the black box of child penalties: Unpaid work and household structure
47 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2019 Last revised: 29 Aug 2022
Date Written: December 2, 2019
As developed countries have been unable to close the gender wage and labor participation gap completely, recent literature has revisited the old findings regarding the existence of child penalties in the labor market. Developing countries, however, present different challenges to the ability of women to work for pay. In this paper, we estimate short-run child penalties in Mexico. Unlike previous work, we include unpaid labor in our analysis and consider the full household time allocation instead of focusing exclusively on mothers and fathers. Furthermore, we associate child penalties to household structure, given that extended families are more common in low- and middle-income countries. We find significant gaps between men and women in the short run impacts of children on both paid and unpaid work. Our results show that the arrival of a child affects members of the extended family unevenly, reinforcing gender roles.
Keywords: Child penalty, Event study, Gender norms, Family structure, Labor outcomes, Mexico
JEL Classification: J12, J13, J16, J22, J31
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