His Gain, Her Pain? The Motherhood Penalty and the Fatherhood Premium within Coresidential Couples

Alexandra Killewald, Harvard University
Javier Garcia-Manglano, University of Maryland

Prior research on the association between parenthood and wages has focused at the individual level, documenting a substantial motherhood wage penalty and a smaller fatherhood premium. However, the majority of births occur to coresidential couples, yet we know little about the within-couple association between the motherhood penalty and fatherhood premium. Specialization suggests that women who experience the largest motherhood penalty will tend to be partnered with fathers with the largest premium. However, it is also possible that some couples are better able to defray the wage costs of parenthood for both parents. We bring a dyad perspective to the study of the interaction between parenthood and wages, answering the following questions: 1) What is the average association between the motherhood penalty and the fatherhood premium within couples? 2) For which couples is the association strongest? 3) Which couples have the largest and smallest total wage penalties associated with parenthood?

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Presented in Session 143: Gender, Wages and Work