How much does it cost to stay at home? Career interruptions and the gender wage gap in France.
The paper analyses the impact of childbearing and subsequent interruptions on the gender wage gap, with special attention to the variables used for the measurement of professional experience. The French survey “Families and Employers” (Ined, 2005) provides the information. We first look at men’s and women’s returns to potential and actual experience, then penalties associated with unemployment and time out of the labour market. We do not find any direct negative impact of children on women’s current hourly wage at the mean. For a sub-sample of men and women aged from 39 to 49, we find that the wage gap between men and women who have never interrupted their participation in the labour force is entirely “unexplained”, while the wage gap between women who have never interrupted and women who have had interruptions is entirely “explained”.