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date: 16 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter advances the understanding of the impact of family responsibilities on career outcomes (e.g., hiring, promotion, and pay) by proposing an integrative model, spanning theories from economics, psychology, and sociology, that includes multiple mechanisms through which family responsibilities may affect career outcomes. The model serves as a guide for reviewing the literature on the effect of family responsibilities—including marital and breadwinner status, parental status, pregnancy, and use of family-friendly policies—on career outcomes. The chapter concludes that family responsibilities affect career outcomes, net of any productivity differences between employees with and without family responsibilities, suggesting discriminatory treatment. The effect is not uniformly negative; employees with family responsibilities have either less favorable or more favorable career outcomes than employees without. We find that whether family responsibilities positively or negatively affect career outcomes, and the mechanisms driving the effect, depends on the family responsibility type and, at times, employee gender.

Keywords: family responsibility, discrimination, career outcome, marital status, breadwinner status, parental status, pregnancy, family-friendly policy, flexible work practice, gender

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