First-Time Moms See A 30% Drop In Pay — But New Dads See An Increase

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Although a wage gap between men and women always exist, parenthood widens the gap significantly.

According to NBC News, first-time moms see their wages drop by 30% while the wages of first-time dads see an increase. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that although there is a wage gap between men and women at all ages, it is narrower for those just starting out in the workforce and it widens over time.

A working paper by Henrik Kleven, Camille Landais, and Jakob Egholt Sogaard published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in January 2018 used Danish administrative data from 1980-2013 to assess the “motherhood penalty.” they found that women begin to fall behind in rank and pay following the birth of their first child. About ten years later, a woman’s earnings generally plateau about 20 percent below the level just before they gave birth.

In the U.S., full-time working women are, in general, paid about 80 cents for every dollar paid to a man. After giving birth, mothers are paid only 71 cents for every dollar that is paid to a father. This means that they are losing $16,000 per year.

The NBER paper points out that although traditional gender roles are shifting, mothers are still usually the primary caregiver and are much more likely to take time off of their jobs, reduce their hours worked, and switch to a “family friendly” job, rather than accept a higher paycheck.

These factors are partly responsible why men don’t suffer the same “penalty” as women when they become parents. In fact, another report by the British trade union association TUC found that men receive a pay increase when they become fathers. Men with children make about 20 percent more than men without children.

Read the full story here.