A Longitudinal Analysis of Family Migration and the Gender Gap in Earnings in the United States and Great Britain

Thomas Cooke, University of Connecticut
Kenneth Couch, University of Connecticut
Peteke Feijten, University of St Andrews

This paper uses longitudinal data for Great Britain and the United States to examine the impact of residential mobility and childbirth on the earnings of women, their family earnings and the related division of earnings by gender. This project is the first to compare explicitly the impact of childbirth and family migration on women’s earnings. The results indicate that families respond in similar ways in both countries to migration and childbirth. In response to both, women’s earnings fall at the time of the event and recover slowly afterward, but the magnitude of the impact is roughly twice as large for childbirth as for migration. However, migration, but not the birth of a child, is also associated with a significant increase in total family earnings due to increased men’s earnings. As a result, the effect of migration on the relative earnings of wives to husbands is similar to the effect of childbirth.

  See paper

Presented in Session 27: Spatial Demography