Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Monica Das


Fertility choices in the United States (U.S.) have significant wage implications for parents. Men generally do not experience any negative wage effects from children, and men with children are often among the best performers in the labor market as they are able to earn higher wages than their childless peers. On the contrary, children result in serious negative wage effects for women, and cause notable pay gaps among women. As compared to their female colleagues, mothers typically earn less and face slower wage growth. The degree to which this wage gap exists varies based on skill level, education, experience, and timing of childbirth. Additionally, wages for mothers may be determined by the industry a woman is employed in. This paper will focus upon the question: which industries do women with children experience lower wages than their childless peers? Furthermore, are there any industries in which women can have children and still experience wage growth? This issue should be of interest to policy makers and private employers if unequal pay and employment opportunities among women is to be addressed. The wage gap may be combatted, at least in part, by the government implementing a mandatory paid maternity leave across all sectors.

Included in

Economics Commons