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The parental gender earning gap in the United States

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Chung, Y., Downs, B., Sandler, D. H. & Sienkiewiez, R.
Publication Date: 
11 Apr 2018



This paper examines the parental gender earnings gap, the within-couple differences in earnings over time, before and after the birth of a child. The presence and timing of children are important components of the gender wage gap, but there is selection in both decisions. We estimate the earnings gap between male and female spouses over time, which allows us to control for this timing choice as well as other shared external earnings shifters, such as the local labor market. We use Social Security Administration Detail Earnings Records (SSA-DER) data linked to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to examine a panel of earnings from 1978 to 2011 for the individuals in the SIPP sample. Our main results show that the spousal earnings gap doubles between two years before the birth of the first child and the year after that child is born. After the child's first year of life the gap continues to grow for the next five years, but at a much slower rate, then tapers off and even begins to fall once the child reaches school-age.

-reprinted from U.S. Census Bureau

Entered Date: 
11 Apr 2018
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