What does the stork bring to women's working career?

Silvia Pasqua, University of Turin
Lia Pacelli, University of Torino
Claudia Villosio, R&P and LABORatorio R. Revelli-CCA

Many studies have been devoted to analyse the effect of maternity on working mothers, considering both the career break job penalty and the effect on wages. Most of these studies refer to countries where female participation to the labour market is high. On the contrary fewer studies consider Southern European countries, where the main concern is the low female employment rate. This paper aims at filling the gap analysing the effects of motherhood on women's working career in Italy, a neat example of Southern European country where female participation is increasing but still low, and where collective bargaining generates incresing but still low wage differentials. We model working women's labour supply after childbirth to highlight what makes exit and wage penalty more likely. Our results point to a significant increase in the probability of transition from employment to non-employment for new mothers, mitigated by the availability of part-time jobs. It also emerges - contrary to expectations in a centralized wage setting environment - that conditional average wages of mothers are significantly lower than those of non-mothers, showing no sign of a closing gap 5 years after childbirth. This penalty does not emerge for mothers moving to a part-time job. Di¤erently from the previous literature we highlight the potential role of part-time in mitigating the "reduced effort" effect of childrearing. JEL codes: J13, J31 Keywords: motherhood, employment transitions, wage penalty, career

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Presented in Session 34: Her Career and His: Men and Women Labour Force Participation in Europe