â€œIn a study of over 700 graduates of the University of Michigan Law School who graduated between 1970 and 1996 my statistical tests indicated that fathers earn 15 to 20 percent more than lawyers without children (a â€˜daddy bonus’) and that mothers earn 10 to 15 percent less than childless lawyers (a â€˜mommy penalty’),”Neil Buchanan, the study’s author and an associate professor of law at The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., told The Lawyers Weekly.
While the”daddy bonus”has been identified in previous studies, Buchanan’s is the first to show the existence of a”mommy penalty.”He believes there are three possible reasons for this phenomenon. It may be that employers view fathers as better or more reliable workers. It may be that men wait to have children until their salaries are high enough to support dependents. Or it may be that men shirk household duties by spending more hours in the office, raising their income.
â€œThe explanations for the â€˜mommy penalty’ usually revolve around the idea that mothers â€“ even mothers with advanced legal training and high powered careers â€“ are the ones who actually spend the most time taking care of their children,”Buchanan said.