NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Mommy Track Divides: The Impact of Childbearing on Wages of Women of Differing Skill Levels

Elizabeth Ty Wilde, Lily Batchelder, David T. Ellwood

NBER Working Paper No. 16582
Issued in December 2010
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies

This paper explores how the wage and career consequences of motherhood differ by skill and timing. Past work has often found smaller or even negligible effects from childbearing for high-skill women, but we find the opposite. Wage trajectories diverge sharply for high scoring women after, but not before, they have children, while there is little change for low-skill women. It appears that the lifetime costs of childbearing, especially early childbearing, are particularly high for skilled women. These differential costs of childbearing may account for the far greater tendency of high-skill women to delay or avoid childbearing altogether.

download in pdf format
   (442 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the April 2011 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16582

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Deaton w17128 The Financial Crisis and the Well-Being of Americans
Bertrand, Goldin, and Katz w14681 Dynamics of the Gender Gap for Young Professionals in the Corporate and Financial Sectors
Poterba, Venti, and Wise w16675 The Drawdown of Personal Retirement Assets
Goldin w11953 The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family
Bloom, Kretschmer, and Van Reenen Work-Life Balance, Management Practices and Productivity
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us