On Tuesday, February 10th, Dr. Zbigniew Karpiński and Dr. Kinga Wysieńska-Di Carlo (Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences) presented a paper titled ‘In and out of the labor market: Motherhood penalty and job interruptions in longitudinal perspective’.


Using longitudinal data from Polish Panel Survey (POLPAN) for 1988-2013, we test a set of hypotheses derived from human capital and status theories to explain the effect of gender and parenthood on labor market situation and income.  More specifically, we assume that if the human capital differences, measured in our analysis by length of employment and number of job interruptions, are responsible for the employment risks and income, we should observe the same effect of length of job-related experience and job interruptions for males and females as well as parents of both genders. We apply event history analysis with time varying variables to model the survival in employment and unemployment for respondents with children of different age. As parenthood and income are nested within an individual respondent, we apply panel data regression models to estimate the effect of parental status on income. We find that regardless of experience and job interruptions, having children up to 12 years of age has a beneficial effect for men and an adverse effect for women when it comes to the “risk” of finding a job after an episode of unemployment, which is consistent with status but not human capital theories. The effect of parenthood on income is less straightforward than is often assumed as it depends on female’s age and type of employment. We will illustrate the relationship between parenthood and income using the 2013 wave of POLPAN, as we are still processing data regarding income for the previous waves. We will also discuss how changes in relevant labor laws are associated with observed effects, as well as possibility of using qualitative interviews with a subsample of unemployed respondents conducted in 2012 to illustrate the patterns emerging from our analysis.