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Journal Articles Journal of Human Resources Year : 2023

Workplace Presenteeism, Job Substitutability and Gender Inequality


This paper explores how the parenthood wage penalty is partially explained by an increased within-couple gap in job uniqueness (i.e., the within-establishment substitutability of workers). Uniqueness is rewarded with higher wages, but it requires worker presenteeism (i.e., the lack of unpredictable work absences), which entails a higher cost of childbearing. Using a within-couple event study approach, we show that after the arrival of the first child, women take more days of absence than men and their likelihood of holding jobs with low substitutability decreases. We find that 15 years after childbearing, the male-female gender gap in holding a (higher-paying) unique jobs increases by 6 percentage points. The results suggest that structural changes towards greater work flexibility, making it less costly for workers in unique jobs not to be present, can help to reduce the parenthood wage penalty.
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hal-03873809 , version 1 (27-11-2022)




Ghazala Azmat, Lena Hensvik, Olof Rosenqvist. Workplace Presenteeism, Job Substitutability and Gender Inequality. Journal of Human Resources, 2023, 48 (4), ⟨10.3368/jhr.1121-12014R2⟩. ⟨hal-03873809⟩
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