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Title: career disruption effects on early wages: a comparison of mothers and women without children
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Elliott, Marta E.
Parcel, Toby L.
Career Disruption Effects on Early Wages: A Comparison of Mothers and Women Without Children
Presented: Cincinnati, OH, American Statistical Association Annual Meetings, August 1991
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: American Statistical Association
Keyword(s): Career Patterns; Dual Economic Theory; Earnings; Human Capital Theory; Labor Market, Secondary; Maternal Employment; Mothers; Occupational Segregation; Occupations; Wages, Women

This paper examines differences between mothers and non-mothers in the relative disruption of careers and the process of earnings attainment. Combining human capital and dual labor market theories, the author hypothesizes that: (1) mothers' and non-mothers' careers diverge both with respect to accumulated human capital, and to the occupational labor market characteristics of their jobs; and (2) these variations are reflected in differential patterns of earnings attainment between the two groups. These hypotheses are tested on a sample of 5,314 women drawn from the NLSY who worked at any time between 1984 and 1987 (85% of the sample). Descriptive results reveal that mothers' careers are substantially more disrupted than the careers of non-mothers, and are characterized by lower wage jobs entailing less substantively complex work in occupational labor markets more heavily dominated by women and minorities. OLS analyses of earnings run separately for mothers and non-mothers indicates that while human capital accumulation plays the most important role in determining non-mothers' wages, occupational content and labor market composition outweigh human capital as determinants of mothers' wages. The disappearance of the negative effect of number of children on mothers' wages when indicators of career disruption are controlled suggests that motherhood is detrimental to women's earnings primarily because of its effects on labor force participation patterns.
Bibliography Citation
Elliott, Marta E. and Toby L. Parcel. "Career Disruption Effects on Early Wages: A Comparison of Mothers and Women Without Children." Presented: Cincinnati, OH, American Statistical Association Annual Meetings, August 1991.