If you are young and working in an office, factory or store, odds are that you are making the same amount of money as your opposite-sex peers. Recent studies reported in the New York Times have shown that in the years after graduation, income and weekly hours for male and female business students remained almost identical.
In addition, both sexes took the same hit for taking time off the labor market.
The catch, though, is that women were far more likely to do so – mostly because they still shoulder the burden of child-rearing.
In the study, that resulted in a 75 percent difference in earnings after 15 years for women who had children or took significant time off. The only group who didn’t see that decrease compared to men were childless women who worked full time.
Having children has always been an economic decision, and there are groups pushing for better arrangements in the U.S., which lags the rest of the rich world. However, it’s important to understand that the decision to have and raise a baby will have a lifelong impact on both the the mother and whichever partner ultimately ends up raising the child.