Gendered parenthood penalties and premiums across the earnings distribution in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States

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Abstract

Parenthood explains some of the gender earnings gap, but effects differ among women and men, and across countries. Wave 6 LIS data and regressions of the recentered influence function are used to compare effects of parenthood across the unconditional earnings distribution in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The three countries are considered more liberal welfare regimes, but still differ in within- and between-gender economic inequality. Australia has slightly greater income equality than the other two countries. Results reveal that fatherhood premiums and motherhood penalties are smaller in Australia, as are differences between the highest- and lowest-earning parents. Australian and British mothers are more likely to work part-time, but controlling for work hours, motherhood penalties in those countries are smaller across the bottom half of the distribution than in the United States. Motherhood penalties across the upper half of the earnings distribution are more similar in the three countries, and decrease as earnings increase. The lowest-earning men in all three countries face small but significant fatherhood penalties, whereas high-earning British and US fathers garner significant premiums as compared with childless men. Parenthood penalties and premiums therefore reflect relative socioeconomic (dis)advantage among women and men, as well as between them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)360-372
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Volume30
Issue number3
Early online date22 Mar 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2014

Keywords

  • gender earnings gap
  • international comparisons
  • unconditional quantile regression

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