June 2008

IZA DP No. 3574: The Motherhood Wage Penalty in a Mediterranean Country: The Case of Spain

published as 'The Motherhood Wage Penalty in Spain' in: Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 2009, 30 (3), 237-251

We present evidence for the motherhood wage penalty in Spain as a representative Southern European Mediterranean country. We use the European Community Household Panel (ECHP, 1994-2001) to estimate, from both pool and fixed-effects methods, a wage equation in terms of observed variables and other non-observed individual characteristics. The empirical results confirm that there is clear evidence of a wage penalty for Spanish working women with children. Specifically, the fact that there is a birth in the family during the current year means that the woman loses 9% of her wage. We also find that having one child living in the household means a significant loss in wages of 6%, having two children, almost 14%, and having three or more, more than 15%.