Nº 247 (June, 2019). Inés Berniell, Lucila Berniell, Dolores de la Mata, María Edo & Mariana Marchionni
“Gender Gaps in Labor Informality: The Motherhood Effect”.
We estimate the short- and long-run labor market impacts of parenthood in a developing country, Chile, based on an event-study approach around the birth of the first child. We find that becoming a mother implies a sharp decline in employment, working hours, and labor earnings, while fathers´ outcomes remain unaffected. Importantly, the birth of the first child also produces a strong increase in labor informality among working mothers (38%). All these impacts are milder for highly educated women. We assess mechanisms behind these effects based on a model economy and find that: (i) informal jobs’ flexible working hours prevent some women from leaving the labor market upon motherhood, (ii) improving the quality of social protection of formal jobs tempers this increase in informality. Our results suggest that mothers find in informal jobs the flexibility needed for family-work balance, although it comes at the cost of deteriorating their labor market prospects.
JEL codes: J13, J16, J46
Published as: Berniell, I., Berniell, L., de la Mata, D., Edo, M. & M. Marchionni (2021). Gender Gaps in Labor Informality: The Motherhood Effect. Journal of Development Economics, 150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdeveco.2020.102599