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Print version ISSN 0120-4483


OLARTE, Liliana  and  PENA, Ximena. The Effect of Motherhood on Earnings in Colombia. Ens. polit. econ. [online]. 2010, vol.28, n.63, pp.190-230. ISSN 0120-4483.

This paper analyzes the effect of the number and age structure of children on women's income in Colombia. On average, mothers earn 17.6% less than non-mothers. Since not all women participate in the labor market, sample selection is a potential issue that is, therefore, corrected. The empirical results confirm the existence of a significant wage penalty for motherhood. After controlling for observables and sample selection, an income gap of 9.4% between mothers and non-mothers remains. This gap is wider when the children are under 5 years old, 18.4%. This gap is partly explained by the fact that mothers are more likely than non-mothers to be employed in lower quality jobs in which they do not contribute to health care and pension, as well as by the fact that being a mother substantially increases household responsibilities for women.

Keywords : motherhood; wage gap; sample selection; Colombia.

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