The impact of family structure on the wages of men and women in Switzerland
This study seeks to quantify the impact of family structure, as given by marital status and number of children, on wages. More particularly, two widely researched phenomena are analyzed in depth: the male marital wage premium and the motherhood wage penalty. Using the Swiss Household Panel dataset, this study reveals that there is no impact of either marriage or parenthood on the wages of men in the sample studied. However, employed women suffer from a robust motherhood wage penalty, persisting across time. Interestingly, this is not true for self-employed women and female managers, who do not suffer from a motherhood wage penalty. This phenomenon can likely be explained as self-employed people and managers benefit from greater work flexibility, while being less subject to employer discrimination. Taken together, these findings reveal novel evidence on the causes of the gender wage gap with implications for policy.