Bank of Spain
The child penalty in Spain
Alicia de Quinto, Laura Hospido and Carlos Sanz

Maternity and gender pay gap in Spain

Alicia de Quinto, Laura Hospido and Carlos Sanz from Bank of Spain, explain in this paper the effects of paternity on income of men and women, and find evidence of the existence of a "child penalty" in the labor income of women in the first year after motherhood: “the year after the birth of the first child, mothers' annual earnings drop 11% while men are unaffected”.

The analysis shows how this gender pay gap will be “even larger ten years after the birth“ reaching a significant disparity of 28%, which will be similar to the gender pay gap found in countries like “Sweden and Denmark, and smaller than in the UK, the US, Germany, and Austria”.

The analysis has taken social security data from 1980 to 2018 and identifies other “child penalties” for instance in the number of days worked, where “women reduce considerably their working days after their first childbirth, while men’s working days are not affected “or in the likelihood to work part-time right after having the first child”, where again women are more likely to change while that probability barely changes for men. 

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