Social Indicators Research

, Volume 93, Issue 3, pp 569–586 | Cite as

Sacrificing Their Careers for Their Families? An Analysis of the Penalty to Motherhood in Europe

Article

Abstract

This paper examines the extent of and the mechanisms behind the penalty to motherhood in six European countries. Each country provides different levels of support for maternal employment allowing us to determine institutional effects on labour market outcome. While mothers tend to earn less than non-mothers, the penalty to motherhood is considerably lower in countries with policy support for working mothers. The paper establishes the United Kingdom and West Germany to have the least policy support for working mothers as well as the largest penalties to motherhood.

Keywords

Wages Maternal employment Cross-national analysis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cathie March Centre for Census and Survey Research (CCSR), School of Social SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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