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

Abstract

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.

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Correspondence to David M. Fergusson.

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Gibb, S.J., Fergusson, D.M., Horwood, L.J. et al. The Effects of Parenthood on Workforce Participation and Income for Men and Women. J Fam Econ Iss 35, 14–26 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-013-9353-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10834-013-9353-4

Keywords

  • Parenthood
  • Gender differences
  • Workforce participation
  • Income
  • Longitudinal study