Does signaling childcare support on job applications reduce the motherhood penalty?

Arjun Bedi, Tanmoy Majilla*, Matthias Rieger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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There is substantial evidence that due to perceived childcare obligations, mothers are disadvantaged in labor markets. To what extent can childcare support ameliorate such a disadvantage? To answer this question, we ran a CV experiment in a large Indian city and examined whether indicating access to childcare support in a CV may offset the motherhood penalty associated with labor market entry. We randomly varied motherhood, as well as access to childcare in CVs sent to online applications for service sector jobs in Delhi. Indicating motherhood on a CV led to a 57% or 20 percentage point reduction in callback rates for interviews as compared to non-mothers. A simple indication of access to childcare support offsets the motherhood penalty by 20% or 4 percentage points. We interpret the findings in the Indian context and with respect to potential sources of discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-387
Number of pages15
JournalReview of Economics of the Household
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

JEL Codes: J13, J16, J71, C93
Funding Information:
This study has received approval from the Ethics Committee of the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS). We thank the Research Innovation Fund of the ISS for financial support. We thank two anonymous referees for their constructive feedback.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Research programs

  • ISS-DE


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