Motherhood Penalties and Living Arrangements in China
Past research on the “motherhood wage penalty” has been based on data from nuclear families, leaving open the possibility that the motherhood wage penalty may be lower or even absent in multigenerational families. In this article, the wage gap between mothers and nonmothers is examined in nuclear and multigenerational families in the context of contemporary China, which has a long tradition of patriarchal families. Using 1993 to 2006 China Health and Nutrition Survey data, the magnitude and variation of motherhood penalty is explored with fixed effects models among 1,058 women. The results show that each additional child lowers hourly wages by about 12%. In addition, the motherhood penalty is largest for women living with their husbands' parents, smaller for women not living with parents, and nil for women living with their own parents.