Children hurt women’s earnings, but not men’s

Motherhood is the biggest cause of the gender pay gap, even in Scandinavia. It might take fathers to change that.

Scandinavia is supposed to be a family-friendly paradise. We imagine fathers and mothers spending their children’s early months together at home. Then they enroll them in high-quality, government-subsidized child care, from which they pick them up at the end of the world’s shortest workdays.
But it is not as egalitarian as the fantasy suggests. Despite generous social policies, women who work full-time there are still paid 15 percent to 20 percent less than men, new research shows — a gender pay gap similar to that in the United States.