The gender gap i early career wage growth: the role of children, job mobility and occupational mobility

Published: 26 May 2017

During the first ten years in the Swedish labor market, male university graduates experience a faster wage growth than their female counterparts. This paper investigates the role of job mobility and upward occupational mobility in explaining the gender gap in early career wage growth. The analysis reveals that although job mobility and upward occupational mobility significantly contribute to the early career wage growth of both men and women, the size of the wage growth effect of both types of mobility is significantly lower for women. This female mobility penalty persists even after accounting for gender differences in observed individual and job characteristics, as well as unobserved individual specific heterogeneity. We further investigate to what extent this mobility penalty of women is explained by parental status. We find that the female penalty in returns to upward occupational mobility is largely linked to the timing of childbirth and childcare, which suggests the presence of a trade-off between work and family. Regarding job mobility, a significant female penalty is found among the childless as well as among parents, and anticipation of parenthood within the next year is found to exacerbate the female penalty in returns to job mobility even further.


For further information, please e-mail the author Abdulaziz Abrar Reshid