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Was there a family gap in late nineteenth century manufacturing? Evidence from Sweden

Publiceringsår: 2012
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 31-50
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: The History of the Family
Volym: 17
Nummer: 1
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Taylor & Francis


Abstract in Undetermined

While women today often face a substantial wage penalty for childbearing, we show that this was not always the case, making use of a rich material of matched employer-employee data covering the Swedish tobacco industry in 1898 in its entirety. Although working conditions were dire, and hours long, women working in the late nineteenth-century manufacturing industry faced no motherhood penalty. Compared to other women, mothers worked slightly less but earned higher (six per cent) hourly wages. Experience increased women's wages but firm tenure did not, and women were not penalized for career interruptions or changes of employer. The wage premium, however, occurred only among women working on piece rates, and not among women working for time rate wages. Apparently, it was related to effort; mothers on piece rates could increase their work effort in order to provide more income for their dependent children.


  • Economic History
  • gender
  • earnings
  • labour market
  • motherhood
  • piece rates
  • family gap
  • late nineteenth century


  • ISSN: 1873-5398

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