Family life cycle, work career patterns, and women’s wages at midlife

Ellen Van Velsor & Angela M. O’Rand – Duke University

Summary

The present study identifies midlife wage differentials across four employment timing patterns and finds that the wage attainment process itself varies by employment timing pattern. Wives whose careers were interrupted for childbearing earn less, on the average, than wives employed during every life cycle stage, but more than wives with delayed work careers. Sectorial location is the most important determinant of wage for wives employed during every stage and among those whose work lives were interrupted by childbearing. The full-time or part-time status of current employment is the most important determinant of wage among wives whose work lives began during the childbearing stage, while education is most important for wives who enter the work force after childbearing. The wage effects of birth cohort, education, employment continuity, female percentage of occupation in last job, and the full-time or part-time status of that employment differ significantly across patterns, as well.

Citation

Van Velsor, E., & O’Rand, A. M. (1984). Family life cycle, work career patterns, and women’s wages at midlife. Journal of Marriage and Family, 46(2), 365–373. https://doi.org/10.2307/352468

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