Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Serkan Ozbeklik


This paper assesses the impact the timing of first birth may have on the parental gender wage gap. Using data from the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), I use a pooled, cross-sectional sample of full-time parents in the United States labor force to examine the relationship between earnings and age at first birth for mothers and fathers and any relative difference that arises between the two. My findings indicate the presence of a parental gender wage gap, and that the timing of first birth can significantly impact parental wages. In addition, my results suggest that the timing of first birth impacts the earnings of mothers and fathers differently. Although having a child before age 30 lowers earnings for both mothers and fathers, the negative effect is larger for mothers. Finally, I find that the total earnings gap among mothers and fathers is larger between younger first-time parents relative to older first-time parents, and is smallest between mothers and fathers who have their first child after 35 years old.