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The Effect of Children on Women's Wages

Jane Waldfogel
American Sociological Review
Vol. 62, No. 2 (Apr., 1997), pp. 209-217
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2657300
Page Count: 9
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The Effect of Children on Women's Wages
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Abstract

I use data from the 1968-1988 National Longitudinal Survey of Young Women to investigate the lower wages of mothers. In pooled cross-sectional models, difference models, and fixed-effects models, the negative effect of children on women's wages is not entirely explained by differences in labor market experience. I consider two alternative explanations for the residual penalties associated with having children: unobserved pay-relevant differences between mothers and non-mothers, which fixed-effects models show do not account for the child penalty; and part-time employment, which does account for some of the child penalty. However, even after controlling for part-time employment, a negative effect of children on women's pay remains.

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