Mothers Pay Substantial Wage Penalties For Having Children

1790 WordsApr 30, 20168 Pages
Income inequality is still a problem as of 2015 especially for women and racial minorities. Studies show there is a wage gap among different genders, race, and ethnicity. In the United States around the 1960’s, the median full-time working woman only earned 60% of what the median full-time working man earned, and in 2009, 77% of what was earned (Hegewisch, Williams, and Henderson 2011). Women and mothers suffer a great deal in the work force. Three factors that contribute to the wage gap is the motherhood penalty, discrimination in the workplace, and sexual orientation. Women in the work force suffer a great deal with multiple consequences for not only being a woman, but for being a mother as well, either married or unmarried. Research shows that mothers pay substantial wage penalties for having children. The average penalty one study found is 5% to 10% per child among women in their 20s and 30s (Anderson et al., 2003; Budig & England, 2001; Waldfogel, 1997). The motherhood penalty differs with race and ethnicity. Studies show that white women pay larger motherhood wage penalties than African Americans (Neumark & Korenman 1994; Waldfogel 1997). For African American mothers, only married mothers with more than two children will pay the wage penalty. African American mothers who have never been married do not pay a wage penalty. For White women, all mothers pay the wage penalty, married, never-married, and divorced, as long as they have at least one or two children (Glauber

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