The Motherhood Wage Penalty: The Role of Occupation & Postponing Pregnancy
Tutera, Rose A
Prior studies demonstrate the existence of a wage penalty for mothers versus women who never have children. This study uses data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to investigate whether women who become mothers early in their careers experience a different motherhood wage penalty than women who become mothers late in their careers, as well as whether this relationship varies by occupation. The results of the analysis support the hypothesis that women who become mothers late in their careers suffer less of the motherhood wage penalty than women who become mothers early in their careers. Furthermore, I find that this effect varies by industry. Not only do the study's results support the claim of previous researchers that mothers earn less than their non-mother counterparts, but it also suggests that by postponing pregnancy women will experience less of this effect than their early mother counterparts.