Is there a Motherhood Penalty?: Decomposing the Family Wage Gap in Colombia


  • Documentos de trabajo


  • The aim of this paper is to provide an estimation and decomposition of the motherhood wage penalty in Colombia. Our empirical strategy is based on the matching procedure designed by Ñopo (2008) for the case of gender wage gaps. This is an alternative procedure to the well-known Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition method. The cross-section data of the Colombian Living Standard Survey allows us to decompose the wage gap in four components, according to the characteristics of mothers and non - mothers. We found that mothers earn, in average, 1.73% less than their counterparts without children and that this gap slightly decreases as the group includes older women. Taking into account that this procedure is sensitive to the set of variables included in the matching, several specifications are tested. The main result of the paper is obtained when considering schooling as a matching variable. Once schooling is included, the unexplained part of the gap considerably decreases and turns non-significant. Thus, we do not find evidence of wage discrimination against mothers in the Colombian labor market.

fecha de publicación

  • 2011-09

Líneas de investigación

  • Childbearing Costs
  • Family Wage Gap
  • Female Wages


  • 10288