Female Breadwinners Don't See a Wage Drop After Having Kids

Want to raise your personal income after you've become a mom? Marrying rich isn't the way to do it.

As working women everywhere know, women still make only 77 cents to every man's dollar. But just because men may make more as a whole doesn't mean that marrying a man who makes less money than you automatically means you'll have less money than your friends with high-earning husbands: It could mean you'll make more, especially after having children, according to a new study of University of Chicago MBAs.

Economists tracked graduates' careers from 1990 to 2000 in order to understand wage disparities. While they found that the already sizable gap in wages between men and women continued to grow as time went on, they also found that for women whose earnings did not fall after they had children, they oftentimes had a spouse who made less money than they did.

The real question is why is this the trend? Do women with busy careers and dreams of a family look for less work-focused men who could spend more time at home? Are female breadwinners the last in line for pay cuts because they're carrying the financial burden for their families? These are just a few guesses of what is sure to be many explanations for this phenomenon, but one thing is certain: If you're looking to increase your personal income, perhaps it's best to stray from the ideal of the "power couple."

Diana Pearl

I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at PEOPLE.com, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on TheAtlantic.com, ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, PEOPLE.com, GoodHousekeeping.com and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by Cosmopolitan.com, TIME.com, TravelandLeisure.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at VOGUE.com, ELLE.com, and MarieClaire.com.