The hidden costs of motherhood
In this project, I will investigate a new and possibly important driver for the continuously large gender gap in child penalty, namely that women experience a sharp increase in job absenteeism after entering parenthood, while men do not. I recently discovered this fact by exploring in the rich Danish register data provided by Statistics Denmark. In figure 1, I show the average monthly sick days for first time parents from 60 month before to 78 month after having their first child. The figure show that that women have slightly more absenteeism due to sickness than fathers pre-parenthood, but that this difference increase significantly when the mothers return from parental leave approximately 12 month after birth.