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September 26, 2003

TRC Boardroom, Main Building, CSB

Sharmistha Self, Economics

What Makes Motherhood So Expensive? The Role of Social Expectations, Interdependence, and Coordination Failure

This presentation utilizes stereotypical roles of mothers to explain the difference in pay between women without children and those with in the labor market. The solutions that the literature offers are better family-friendly employment policies and better provisions for childcare. The paper it is based on does not deny these as solutions, but it shows that simply providing more services does not work in itself. The presentation will also provides some explanations for the existence of a more severe form of gender gap in developing countries and a relatively less severe one in Europe as compared to the United States.