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Keywords:

  • employment;
  • income;
  • marriage;
  • motherhood;
  • parenthood;
  • race

This study draws on data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (N = 5,929) to analyze the moderating effects of race and marriage on the motherhood wage penalty. Fixed-effects models reveal that for Hispanic women, motherhood is not associated with a wage penalty. For African Americans, only married mothers with more than 2 children pay a wage penalty. For Whites, all married mothers pay a wage penalty, as do all never-married mothers and divorced mothers with 1 or 2 children. These findings imply that racial differences in the motherhood wage penalty persist even for women with similar marital statuses, and they suggest that patterns of racial stratification shape women’s family experiences and labor market outcomes.