The impact of family situation on the gender wage gap - a longitudinal and international study

Project leader

Funding source

Forte - Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2011
End date: 31/12/2013
Funding: 2240000 SEK


The overall aim of this project is to increase the knowledge concerning the wage gap between men and women – the gender wage gap. In particular this project focuses on why the gender wage gap, since the middle of the 1980 have stopped to diminish. The main hypothesis in this project is that the stagnated reduction in the gender wage gap is related to an overall structural change in the labour market where more employees, both men and women, now are located in high skilled occupations which are characterized by a large gender wage gap. The aim of the project is also to shed light on why the gender wage gap is larger in high skilled occupations. In this project family responsibilities and family policies are put forward and analyzed as mechanisms that may account for a vital part of the gender wage gap. Past research has indicated that having a family usually has a positive impact on men’s careers but usually hampers women’s careers. It is possible that the penalty for women’s family responsibilities is larger in high skilled occupations since such occupations often have more characteristics that collide with family obligations. Some researchers have emphasized that the gender-egalitarian family policies, like those in Sweden, not only leads to gender equality in the sense that most women are economically active, but also to some extent has non-egalitarian consequences in that female employees are punished by inferior career prospects. This project deals with the research questions above by, among other things, analyzing how the relation between the gender wage gap and family situation varies between low- respectively high skilled occupations, among specific high skilled occupations like physicians, lawyers and economists and by a comparative study between countries with different family policies.

Last updated on 2017-20-04 at 08:22