How Much Do Work Interruptions Reduce Mothers’ Wages?
Abstract: Women experience large and persistent declines in earnings after having children, which in part reflects fewer hours worked while children are young. Recent studies of large policy-induced changes in mothers’ work experience in the 1990s quantify the impact of avoiding lengthy work interruptions after childbirth. The analysis shows that mothers who return to work a year sooner after childbirth earn 5-6% higher wages 10 to 20 years later. Thus, policies that encourage mothers’ return to work can lead to large improvements in their lifetime earnings.
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Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Part of Series: FRBSF Economic Letter
Publication Date: 2023-10-02