Class differences in establishment pathways to fatherhood wage premiums

Lynn Prince Cooke, Sylvia Fuller

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16 Citations (SciVal)
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Organizations have been argued to favor fathers over childless men and skilled fathers over less-skilled fathers, but group wage inequalities vary across as well as within establishments. This article theorizes class differences in the contribution of being employed in a high-wage firm to the fatherhood wage premium. Analyses of linked employer–employee data from the Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey reveal that sorting into high-wage establishments accounts for 60% of the economy-wide premium for less-educated and nonprofessional fathers, whereas high-skilled fathers tend to work in lower wage establishments but receive the largest net fatherhood premium within firms. Among the subsample of fathers who changed employers in the past 5 years, less-skilled fathers fared worse, whereas high-skilled fathers sorted into high-wage firms. Results thus suggest that employment in a higher wage firm likely enables less-skilled men to transition to fatherhood, whereas high-wage employers may discriminate in favor of only high-skilled fathers in hiring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-751
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number3
Early online date16 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2018


  • Canadian families
  • fatherhood
  • income or wages
  • paternal employment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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