DP13044 The Role of Parenthood on the Gender Gap among Top Earners

Author(s): Aline Butikofer, Sissel Jensen, Kjell G Salvanes
Publication Date: July 2018
Keyword(s): Gender Gap, parenthood, top jobs
JEL(s):
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13044

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.