Research on the influence of marriage and birth on wages: from on the perspective of gender wage gap

WANG Zhaoping1 WANG Wenli1

(1.International Business School of Shaanxi Normal University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China 710119)

【Abstract】With technology progress and the improvement of female human capital, men and women more similar in productivity, but is the gender wage gap narrowing in China? Whether the universal two-child policy has increased women’s employment difficulties? Using CGSS 2015 data, from the perspective of marriage and birth, this paper studies the influence of marriage and childbearing events on the wages of labor force and its mechanism, by the instrumental variable method, quantile regression and Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition method, discusses the gender pay gap problem under the perspective of marriage and birth, and puts forward the corresponding policy recommendations to promote gender equality. Main findings are as follows. First, through an empirical analysis on the marital status, fertility status and wage income of urban labor force, this paper found that after controlling personal characteristics, human capital, job characteristics and other factors, the gender wage gap still existed significantly, and the marriage and childbearing widened the gap. Marriage makes labor wages of men and women increased, but due to differences in raw wages and premium, the size of the gender pay gap is widening. Birth makes men wages growth and female wages shrink. It also increased the gender wage gap. Secondly, based on quantile regression results, the analysis of Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition of the average wage difference shows that, as the income increased, the gender wage gap was narrowing. However, the explanation of this gap by marriage and fertility was more and more powerful and relatively stable, especially among the high-income groups. The wage gap of the low-income group is larger, but marriage and fertility have relatively small explanation power for this gap. On the contrary, the gender wage gap of high-income groups is relatively small, but marriage and fertility make a great contribution to the gap. Therefore, it is urgent to reduce the gender wage gap caused by marriage and childbirth, reduce gender discrimination, and to ensure women’s career development.

【Keywords】 gender wage gap; marriage; childbirth; Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition;


【Funds】 General Project of National Bureau of Statistics (2014166)

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(Translated by LI Mengling)


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This Article


CN: 22-1017/C

Vol 42, No. 01, Pages 99-112

January 2020


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Literature review and related theories
  • 3 Enterprise production model
  • 4 Data sources and descriptive statistics
  • 5 Empirical analysis
  • 6 Conclusions and relevant measures and suggestions
  • References