Effect of early parenthood on parents’ earnings in the Baltics

Parenthood, especially in the first years after childbirth, is unevenly split between genders and varies by country. In countries like the three Baltic states, with relatively generous parental leave benefits compared to the EU and norms encouraging mothers to care for children, females’ earnings are more affected than their male counterparts. I carry out an event study to estimate the effect of having a child on the earnings of both genders and find that the earnings of females reduce by half in the first calendar year after childbirth and by 20% to 33% in the second, while male earnings do not change in either period. This results in a widening earnings gap in the Baltics, more so than in several comparison countries (Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Norway), in the first two years after the birth of the first child.

Unpublished version

Nerijus Černiauskas