The role of parenthood in shaping the gender wage gap – A comparative analysis of 26 European countries. By: Cukrowska-Torzewska, Ewa; Lovasz, Anna. Social Science Research. Jan2020, Vol. 85.

We use cross-national data on 26 EU countries to estimate how parenthood contributes to the gender wage gap, and assess how institutional elements affect this relationship. We find that irrespective of cultural norms and policies, fathers receive a wage premium, which increases the gender gap. Motherhood gaps vary across countries. The highest gaps are seen in Eastern European countries, where policies and norms lead to long absences from work. Moderate to small penalties are found in Continental Europe, Anglo-Saxon and Nordic countries, alongside higher maternal employment. No motherhood penalties are found for Southern EU countries, where mothers return to work quickly or exit the labor market indefinitely.