The wage penalty for parental caregiving: Has it declined over time?

TitleThe wage penalty for parental caregiving: Has it declined over time?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGlauber, R
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
ISSN Number00222445
KeywordsAdult children, Caregiving, Employment and Labor Force, Gender Differences

Objective: This study analyzed differences in the wage penalty for parental caregiving between early Baby Boomers and the previous generation. Background: Research has explored the association between parental caregiving and women's labor market outcomes, but few studies have conducted cross-cohort analyses.

Method: This study used nationally representative data from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and compared two cohorts of individuals aged 50 to 64. One cohort was born between 1931 and 1941, and the other was born between 1948 and 1953. The 1994 to 2012 waves of the HRS were pooled, and multivariate fixed effects regression models were used to estimate the associations among birth cohort, parental caregiving, and women's and men's log hourly wages.

Results: Intense parental caregiving was associated with a 4.8% reduction in women's wages. Baby Boom women did not fare better than their predecessors. Moreover, despite a substantial increase in Baby Boom men's parental care, the association between caregiving and their labor market outcomes was negligible. Similar to their predecessors, married and unmarried Baby Boom men did not pay wage penalties for parental caregiving.

Conclusion: These results extend our understanding of the gendered life course and suggest that parental caregiving may contribute to older women's economic disadvantage.

Short TitleFam Relat
Citation Key10008