Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 14–26 | Cite as

The Effects of Parenthood on Workforce Participation and Income for Men and Women

  • Sheree J. Gibb
  • David M. FergussonEmail author
  • L. John Horwood
  • Joseph M. Boden
Original Paper


This paper examined the effects of parenthood on workforce participation for men and women in the Christchurch Health and Development Study, a 30-year longitudinal study of a birth cohort of 1,265 individuals born in New Zealand in 1977. The findings suggested that the effects of parenthood on workforce participation were different for men and women. For women, parenthood was associated with decreasing participation in paid employment and fewer hours worked. For men, however, parenthood was not associated with decreased workforce participation and in some cases was associated with increased working hours. These findings had consequences for personal income, with 83–90 % of the total gender income gap in this cohort being attributed to gender differences in the effects of parenthood. These findings suggest that parenthood has markedly different effects on workforce participation and income for men and women.


Parenthood Gender differences Workforce participation Income Longitudinal study 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheree J. Gibb
    • 1
  • David M. Fergusson
    • 2
    Email author
  • L. John Horwood
    • 1
  • Joseph M. Boden
    • 1
  1. 1.Christchurch Health and Development StudyUniversity of OtagoChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Christchurch Health and Development Study, Department of Psychological MedicineUniversity of Otago, ChristchurchChristchurchNew Zealand

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