Mannheim Centre for European Social Research, University of Mannheim, A5, 6, D-68131 Mannheim, Germany.
Domestic Work and the Wage Penalty for Motherhood in West Germany
Article first published online: 11 JAN 2012
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2012
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 74, Issue 1, pages 186–200, February 2012
How to Cite
Kühhirt, M. and Ludwig, V. (2012), Domestic Work and the Wage Penalty for Motherhood in West Germany. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74: 186–200. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2011.00886.x
- Issue published online: 11 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 11 JAN 2012
- fixed-effects models;
- housework/division of labor;
- income or wages;
- maternal employment;
- work–family balance
Previous research suggests that household tasks prohibit women from unfolding their full earning potential by depleting their work effort and limiting their time flexibility. The present study investigated whether this relationship can explain the wage gap between mothers and nonmothers in West Germany. The empirical analysis applied fixed-effects models and used self-reported information on time use and earnings as well as monthly family and work histories from the German Socio-Economic Panel (1985–2007, N = 1,810; Wagner, Frick, & Schupp, 2007). The findings revealed that variation in reported time spent on child care and housework on a typical weekday explains part of the motherhood wage penalty, in particular for mothers of very young children. Furthermore, housework time incurred a significant wage penalty, but only for mothers. The authors concluded that policies designed to lighten women's domestic workload may aid mothers in following rewarding careers.