Today is equal pay day. The most compelling story on pay equity recently is the suit filed by members of the US National Women’s Soccer Team alleging gender-based wage discrimination. You can read the story but this slide show (unfortunately embedded in Facebook) tells the tale better.
While straight-up old-school wage discrimination remains an important issue, new research suggests that social policy plays an important role in mitigating the wage penalty associated with having children.
“Work–Family Policy Trade-Offs for Mothers? Unpacking the Cross-National Variationin Motherhood Earnings Penalties” finds (among other things) that publicly funded child-care and job-protected leaves help minimize the motherhood wage penalty. The economically ideal leave length (from the perspective of minimizing the child wage penalty) appears to be two years, with shorter and longer leaves being associated with worse outcomes.
-- Bob Barnetson