Colloque LINES / LIVES - Income losses following first births

23 Nov 2021

  • Lecturer: Ana Fernandez, Berner Fachhochschule: université de Fribourg
  • Title: Income losses following first births
  • Host : Giannina Vaccaro


  • University of Lausanne, Géopolis Building, Room 5799 (COVID Pass necessary)


Using Swiss administrative data from 1988 to 2016, we examine the motherhood penalty in earnings and hourly wages and how those are affected by part-time work.  A simple model shows that differences in the growth rates of wages between full- and part-timers are not affected by the disproportionate reward of continuous hours at work (a la Goldin (2014)) but, instead, depend only on past experience.   We find extremely large earnings penalties from motherhood, both in absolute terms as well as relative to other estimates in the literature.  For our combined administrative sample, the average unexplained loss in yearly earnings from motherhood is roughly 35%, while part-time work as a mom results in an additional 26% income loss.  In terms of hourly wages, the motherhood penalty for full-time workers ranges from 5 to 6.7% and there is no additional productivity loss from working part-time as a mom.  Motherhood penalties are largest in the German speaking part of Switzerland and have been declining over time.


Poster of the series of conferences