Dads often earn more, even if they’re not harder workers

When it comes to earning potential, it pays to be a dad.


According to a new study by UBC scientists, men often receive a wage boost when they become fathers–even if they’re not necessarily working harder. Indeed, when their work is examined all the more firmly through execution reviews, for instance, the analysts found that the wage boost is frequently lessened or eliminated.

Scientists analyzed data from Statistic Canada’s Canadian Workplace and Employee Survey, gathered from 1999 to 2005. The sample included 18,730 men between 24 and 44 years of age in 5,020 workplaces.

Scientists mainly focused on wage differences within workplaces and limited their study to white men because including non-white men would require a separate analysis due to the wage gap that exists between white men and other racial groups.

They found that fathers in proficient or administrative occupations appreciate the biggest net wage support inside their work environments of 6.9 for each penny, contrasted with a 3.6 for every penny net wage help for men in different occupations. The wage help was most elevated for very taught men- fathers with a university degree got a 5.3 for every penny net wage premium inside their working environments, contrasted with 1.8 for each penny for fathers with not as much as a secondary school certificate.

But when work performance was more closely scrutinized for merit pay, the researchers found that the fatherhood wage boost was reduced or even reversed, in the case of the least educated men. Having a collective bargaining agreement in place also significantly reduced the fatherhood wage premium, as did working in a firm with a human resources department.

Lead author Sylvia Fuller, associate professor in the UBC department of sociology said, “Although women typically experience a dip in earnings after becoming mothers, our study confirms the prevalence of the so-called ‘daddy bonus’– the wage boost that men enjoy when they become fathers. Our findings suggest that employers are more likely to see fathers as deserving of promotions and higher wages because of an unfair assumption that men are the breadwinners in their families, and are therefore more likely to be hardworking and dependable. Of course, that assumption isn’t always true.”

“The overall story seems to be that, when there are more scrutiny and oversight of actual performance, the fatherhood advantage diminishes. This suggests that it’s not so much that dads are necessarily working harder, but that employers think they are.”

The researchers found employment in higher-paying firms likely enables less-educated men to become dads, while higher-paying employers may discriminate in favor of highly educated fathers in hiring.

The findings build on an earlier study, published recently in the Journal of Marriage and Family.

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