The Justice of Earnings in Dual-Earner Households
AbstractThe rise in female labor market participation and the growth of “atypical” employment arrangements has, over the last few decades, brought about a steadily decreasing percentage of households in which the man is the sole breadwinner, and a rising percentage of dual-earner households. Against this backdrop, the present paper investigates the impact of household contexts in which the traditional male breadwinner model has been called into question on individuals’ subjective evaluations of the equity or inequity of their personal earnings. In the first step, based on social production function theory, we derive three criteria used by individuals to evaluate the fairness or justice of their personal earnings: compensation for services rendered, coverage of basic needs, and the opportunity to earn social approval. In the second step, we apply considerations from household economics and new approaches from gender research to explain why men’s and women’s evaluations of justice are determined to a considerable degree by the specific situation within their household—for example, by the status and income relation between the two partners. The assumptions derived regarding gender-specific patterns in justice attitudes are then tested on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) from the year 2007. We find that, among women, the perceived justice of personal earnings depends much more strongly on the particular household context. At the same time, opportunities for social comparison within the household and the relation between the woman’s personal income and that of her husband play central roles. Men’s justice evaluations, in contrast, are determined to a much greater extent by whether their income allows them to conform to traditional gender norms and concepts of “masculinity,” and by so doing, to gain social approval outside the household as well.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 216.
Length: 21 p.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 30 (2012, 2, 2019-232
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Cohen-Charash, Yochi & Spector, Paul E., 2001. "The Role of Justice in Organizations: A Meta-Analysis," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 278-321, November.
- Armin Falk & Urs Fischbacher, .
"A Theory of Reciprocity,"
IEW - Working Papers
006, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Michael Bittman & Paula England & Nancy Folbre & George Matheson, 2001. "When Gender Trumps Money: Bargaining and Time in Household Work," JCPR Working Papers 221, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007.
"The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements,"
SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research
1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
- Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2005.
"The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism – Experimental Evidence and New Theories,"
Discussion Papers in Economics
726, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 2006. "The Economics of Fairness, Reciprocity and Altruism - Experimental Evidence and New Theories," Handbook on the Economics of Giving, Reciprocity and Altruism, Elsevier.
- Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S33-58, January.
- Carsten Sauer & Peter Valet & Stefan Liebig, 2013. "The Impact of Within and Between Occupational Inequalities on People's Justice Perceptions towards Their Own Earnings," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 567, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- Hellberg-Bahr, Anneke & Spiller, Achim, 2012. "How to Treat Farmers Fairly? Results of a Farmer Survey," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 15(3).
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.