Graduate Center Study Finds that Men with Children Earned Highest Median Personal Income in the United States from 1990 to 2010

October 14, 2014

Graduate Center Study Finds that Men with Children Earned Highest Median Personal Income in the United States from 1990 to 2010

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Graduate Center Study Finds that Men with Children Earned Highest Median Personal Income in the United States from 1990 to 2010

Women with children earned over 40 percent less than men with children in 2010


NEW YORK, October 14, 2014 - The Graduate Center, City University of New York and announced today a new study - The Mommy Tax and Daddy Bonus: Parenthood and Personal Income in the United States between 1990 and 2010 that between 1990 and 2010, men with children in the United States earned higher personal incomes than men without children as well as women with and without children.

These findings, issued by the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies suggest an enduring 'Daddy Bonus' and 'Mommy Tax' with respect to personal incomes in the United States.

This pattern was the case for the total population, different age cohorts, all levels of educational attainment and occupations, major race and ethnic groups, and the five largest Latino national subgroups in the U.S.," said Justine Calcagno, author of the report and a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Center. "For example, even at equivalent levels of education, women with children earn notably less than men with children."

To explain these findings, Calcagno examined a series of occupational factors and found that the number of hours worked per week was the most important in determining earnings income differentials. "Women who were parents worked 13 percent fewer hours per week than men who were parents in 2010. However, this 13 percent difference in hours worked per week was significantly less than the 40 percent difference in personal incomes earned by employed parents in that year."

The 'Mommy Tax and the Daddy Bonus' report examines the relationship between parenthood, sex, and personal income in the United States between 1990 and 2010. It uses the American Community Survey PUMS (Public Use Microdata Series) released by the Census Bureau and reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa.

"The data from this study also suggests that income disparities were surprisingly not connected to race, education, or occupation," said Laird W. Bergad, a Distinguished Professor and Executive Director of CLACLS. "It appears that men with children have an overriding advantage to earn the highest personal incomes. For example, among the largest Latino subgroups-Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Salvadorans, Cubans, and Dominicans-men with children earned higher median personal incomes than all other earners."

Calcagno and Bergad add that sex discrimination in the work force; gender segregation into occupations and positions that differ in pay; and time away from work due to pregnancy could be factors in why women earn less money than men, particularly among parents.

The study also documents the fact that irrespective of parenthood status, women earned lower personal incomes than men between 1990 and 2010. Among the employed population, women earned 28 percent less men who were parents in 2010. "Of all the analyses in this report, the only example of men and women having similar income levels was in 2010, and it was between men and women without children who were employed only part-time," said Calcagno.


About the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies
The Center for Latin American, Caribbean & Latino Studies (CLACLS) promotes the study and understanding of Latin American and Caribbean cultures and the communities established in the United States, with a special focus on New York City, by peoples from this vast and extraordinarily diverse region. CLACLS researches and publishes innovative data-based studies focused upon New York City's and the nation's Latino communities, such as CLACLS' flagship Latino Data Project. The Latino Data Project provides the public with insights on various aspects of the New York City Latino experience.

About the Graduate Center
The Graduate Center (GC) is the principal doctorate-granting institution of the City University of New York, offering more than thirty doctoral degrees from Anthropology to Urban Education. The Graduate Center also offers an interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Liberal Studies and several courses of study leading to a terminal Master of Arts degree. In addition to rigorous academic training in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, the Graduate Center fosters globally significant research across the faculty and in a wide variety of centers and institutes. The Graduate Center is home to a core faculty of approximately 150 teachers and mentors, virtually all senior scholars, many leaders in their disciplines, and more than a third holding the rank of Distinguished Professor-the University's highest academic honor. Further, as the only consortium of its kind in the nation, the Graduate Center draws upon more than 1,600 faculty from across the CUNY colleges, as well as from cultural, academic, and scientific institutions throughout New York City.