Working Paper Series
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy
Does the gender composition in Couples matter for the division of labor after childbirth?
Abstract: In this paper I compare the effect of entering parenthood
on the spousal income gaps in lesbian and heterosexual couples using
Swedish population wide register data. Comparing couples with similar
pre-childbirth income gaps, a difference-in-differences strategy is used to
estimate the impact of the gender composition of the couple on the spousal
income gap after childbirth. The results indicate that the gender
composition of the couple does matter for the division of labor after
having children. Five years after childbirth the income gap is smaller in
lesbian than in heterosexual couples also when comparing couples with the
same pre-parenthood income gap. Heterosexual couples’ division of labor
seems to be influenced by traditional gender norms, regardless of their
pre-childbirth income gap. In lesbian couples the partners’ relative
earnings before parenthood and a principle about fairness may be more
important, as well as the partners’ preferences for giving birth as the
birth giving partner typically spends more time on parental leave.
Keywords: economics of gender; division of labor; labor supply; same-sex couples; transition to parenthood; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D13; J13; J22; (follow links to similar papers)
62 pages, April 28, 2016
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