Who Pays More for a Better Work-life Balance?
To better understand the consequences of career breaks within the scope of governmental schemes to support a better work-life balance, research so far has mainly focused on the effects of parental leave for women and gender gaps in wage differentials. Mortelmans and Frans (2017) go beyond these shortcomings by examining the impact of career breaks on the income of both men and women, and across the life course. By applying latent growth modelling to a sample of Belgian longitudinal register data, the results show that income differentials between men that had a career break and men that did not are greater than among women who did or did not take a break. In addition, significant additional income growth was found after the break for women while a comparable catch-up effect was not observed for men. The authors conclude that career breaks are more socially accepted for women than for men and lead to significant negative income differentials among men.