Motherhood, Caregiving Status, and Employment Outcomes in High-Income Countries: A Cross-National Analysis

Helen Connolly, Luxembourg Income Study (LIS)
Teresa Munzi, Luxembourg Income Study (LIS)
Janet C. Gornick, Baruch College, City University of New York (CUNY)

In this paper, we assess the effects of being a mother, relative to childless women and fathers, on several labor market outcomes. We analyze and compare the “motherhood effect” across countries, including the U.S. and a diverse group of European countries. Our outcomes include employment, work hours, and earnings, as well as various markers of job quality, such as being a professional, supervising others, holding a permanent job contract, and job tenure. In addition to analyzing the effects of motherhood status per se, we extend existing research by directly assessing the effect of self-reported care giving status (i.e., caring for children or others) on multiple employment-related outcomes. We also consider the determinants of engagement in care giving and how those vary cross-nationally. To carry out our analyses, we use new microdata (available as of 2007) from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), a cross-national archive of harmonized microdata sets.

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Presented in Session 46: Contextual Influences on Employment and Motherhood Outcomes