How Much Does it Cost To Stay at Home?: Career Interruptions and the Gender Wage Gap in France

Sophie Ponthieux, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques (INSEE)
Dominique Meurs, Université Panthéon-Assas, Paris II
Ariane Pailhe, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

We investigate the extent to which children have direct and indirect effects in the gender wage gap in France. We look at men’s and women’s returns to experience, and penalties associated to unemployment and time out of the labour market. We find that there is no gender differential in returns to work experience, but a penalty attached to time out of the labour market which affects only women. We don’t find any direct negative impact of children on women’s current hourly wage at the mean, and a positive impact at some points of the wage distribution. We find, for a sub-sample of men and women aged from 39 to 49, that the wage gap between men and women who have never interrupted their participation in the labour force is entirely “unexplained”, while the wage gap between women who have never interrupted and women who have had interruptions is entirely “explained”.

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Presented in Session 167: Gender and Labor Force Participation in Different National Contexts