The motherhood wage penalty: A meta-analysis. By: Cukrowska-Torzewska, Ewa; Matysiak, Anna. Social Science Research. May2020, Vol. 88, pN.PAG-N.PAG. 1p.

Mothers tend to receive lower wages than comparable childless women. This ‘motherhood wage gap’ has been reported in numerous studies. We summarize the existing empirical evidence on this topic using meta-analysis and test for several mechanisms which can be responsible for the persistence of the wage gap. Based on 208 wage effects of having exactly one child and 245 wage effects of the total number of children, we find an average motherhood wage gap of around 3.6–3.8%. While the gaps associated with the total number of children are mostly explained by the loss of mothers’ human capital during child-related career breaks, the gaps associated with one child are predominantly driven by mothers’ choice of jobs and occupations that pay less. The residual gap is smallest in Nordic countries, where public policies actively support gender equality and reconciliation of work and family, as well as Belgium and France, and largest in the post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Anglo-Saxon countries.