Motherhood Wage Penalty in Japan: What Causes Mothers to Earn Less in Regular Jobs?
This study presents evidence of motherhood wage penalties in regular jobs in Japan. Limited previous studies examine the existence of motherhood wage penalties working permanently. This paper, therefore, investigates the causes of mothers' lower wages in comparison to nonmothers in regular jobs. Japanese female workers are offered the choice between "general" and "integrated" career paths, and which path they choose is likely to affect the magnitude of the wage gap between mothers and nonmothers. This research estimates wage equations that consider observed and unobserved individual characteristics using unbalanced panel dataset from the Japan Household Panel Survey (the JHPS/KHPS 2004-2015) under a fixed-effect method. The empirical estimates confirm there is indeed a wage penalty for Japanese working mothers who work in full-time employment. The result shows that the presence of children is related to penalties in wages of 5.4% per child. Besides, the penalty associated with the presence of one child is consistently higher than that of two children. This study divides regular working women into two categories, large versus small enterprises and estimates the motherhood wage gap for each separately to find what factors contribute to the existence of this wage gap. Interestingly, the result shows the wage penalty for motherhood is high in large companies and not evident at all in small companies. This finding reinforces the hypothesis that the motherhood wage penalties in regular jobs in Japan may be due to "unobserved individual heterogeneity" that there are different career tracks chosen by mothers and nonmothers. High wage penalties in large companies are generated from a comparison between mothers on "general career paths" and childless women who are in "company-specific skills". Meanwhile, there is no evidence of wage penalties in small companies because female workers tend to have the same "traditional pattern." Overall, the finding of high motherhood penalties in regular employment bears a close relationship to labor market practice in Japan that relies heavily upon on-the-job-training (OJT) in company-specific-skills, couples with wages that rise with tenure of employment. However, it pertains only to employees who have chosen integrated career tracks.(original abstract)
- Anderson, B. D. J., Binder, M., & Krause, K. (2002). The motherhood wage penalty: which mothers pay it and why? The American Economic Review, 92(2), 354-358. Retrieved July 25, 2019, from https://www.jstor.org/stable/3083431
- Anderson, D., Binder, M., & Krause, K. (2003). The motherhood wage penalty revisited: experience, heterogeneity, work effort and work-schedule flexibility. Retrieved July 25, 2019, from https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.258750
- Becker, G. S. (1964). Human capital theory. Columbia, New York, 1964.
- Budig, M. J., & England, P. (2001). The wage penalty for motherhood. American Sociological Review, 66(2), 204-225.
- Budig, M. J., & Hodges, M. J. (2010). Differences in disadvantage: Variation in the motherhood penalty across white women's earnings distribution. American Sociological Review, 75(5), 705728.
- Chiodo, A. J., & Owyang, M. T. (2003). How do women's life decisions influence their wages ? Retrieved July 25, 2019, from https://www.stlouisfed.org
- Cole, R. E. (2018). Permanent employment in Japan: facts and fantasies. ILR Review, 26(1), 615-630.
- Davies, R., & Pierre, G. (2005). The family gap in pay in Europe: A cross-country study. Labour Economics, 12(4), 469-486.
- England, P. (2005). Gender inequality in labor markets: The role of motherhood and segregation. Social Politics, 12(2), 264-288.
- Fox, C. M. (2004). Changing Japanese employment patterns and women's participation: Anticipating the implications of employment trends. Retrieved July 25, 2019, from http://www.futures.hawaii.edu
- Futagami, S. (2010). Non-standard employment in Japan: gender dimensions (IILO Discussion Paper Series, Vol. 20). The International Institute Labour Organization.
- Grimshaw, D, & Rubery, J. (2015). The motherhood pay gap: a review of the issues, theory and international evidence (Conditions of Work and Employment Series No. 57). International Labour Office,. Retrieved July 25, 2019, from http://ilo.org
- Harkness, S., & Waldfogel, J. (2003). the Family gap in pay: evidence from seven industrialized countries. Research in Labor Economics, 22(November), 369-413.
- JILPT. (2017). Labor Situation in Japan and Analysis 2016/2017. Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training.
- METI. (2016). 2012 White paper on small and medium enterprises in Japan, (April), 316. Ministry of Economy, Trade and Investments.
- Mincer, J. (1974). Schooling, experience, and earnings. New York: Columbia, University Press.
- Molina, J. A., & Montuenga, V. M. (2009). The motherhood wage penalty in Spain. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 30(3), 237-251.
- OECD (2018). Enterprises by business size. Retrieved August 13, 2018, from https://www.oecdilibrary.org
- OECD (2019). Gender wage gap. Retrieved August 28, 2018, from https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org
- Waldfogel, J. (1997). The effect of children on women's wages. American Sociological Review, 62(2), 209-217.
- Yu, J., & Xie, Y. (2018). Motherhood penalties and living arrangements in China. Journal of Marriage and Family, 80(5), 1067-1086.
- Yu, W. H., & Kuo, J. C. L. (2017). The motherhood wage penalty by work conditions: how do occupational characteristics hinder or empower mothers? American Sociological Review, 82(4), 744-769.