The differential effect of childbirth on men's and women's careers

Noa de la Vega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper studies the impact of first childbirth on parents’ labour supply and life satisfaction as a function of their pre-birth earnings. My contribution is to examine how childbearing differentially affects men and women according to their relative role within the household before childbirth. Using data from Germany and a quasi-experimental approach based on event studies around first childbirth, I find that the negative impact of children on women's labour-market outcomes is significant and persistent regardless of their relative potential earnings before childbirth. In contrast, men tend to increase their earnings and employment rates after childbirth but only in households where women were primary breadwinners pre-birth. I also find that in these households, after childbirth, men invest more time in childcare and less in leisure activities whereas women invest more time in housework relative to men breadwinners households. Correspondingly, both spouses report a decrease in their housework satisfaction while men become dissatisfied with work and leisure.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102249
JournalLabour Economics
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Childbirth
  • Childcare
  • Gender gap
  • Gender roles
  • Job satisfaction
  • Well-being


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