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"Birds of a Feather Flock Together" The Impact of Choice of Spouse on Family Labor Income Inequality

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  • Iulie Aslaksen
  • Tom Wennemo
  • Rolf Aaberge

    ()
    (Statistics Norway)

Abstract

This paper discusses the effects of the substantial rise in labor force participation of married women on the level, structure and trend in family labor income inequality. An interesting question is to what extent the rise in women's labor force participation has led to a tendency of "flocking together", i.e. whether women with high labor income are married to men with high labor income, or vice versa. Based on the decomposition of the Gini coefficient and a related index for the extent of "flocking together" applied to income data for Norway for the period 1973-1997 we find a tendency of "flocking together" for couples with at least one labor income and couples with two labor incomes. For couples with only one labor income (i.e. couples where only one labor income is above the threshold given by the statistical definition of labor income) the decomposition of the Gini coefficient indicates that there is no tendency of "flocking together". For this group women's labor income gives an equalizing contribution to family labor income inequality. This illustrates the importance of distinguishing between one- and two-income families in analysis of family labor income inequality.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 276.

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Date of creation: Jun 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:276

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Keywords: Family income distribution; decomposition of the Gini coefficient; summary measure for the extent of "flocking together".;

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References

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  1. Maria Cancian & Deborah Reed, 1998. "Assessing The Effects Of Wives' Earnings On Family Income Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 73-79, February.
  2. Aaberge, Rolf & Dagsvik, John K & Strom, Steinar, 1995. " Labor Supply Responses and Welfare Effects of Tax Reforms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(4), pages 635-59, December.
  3. Lundberg, Shelly J, 1988. "Labor Supply of Husbands and Wives: A Simultaneous Equations Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 224-35, May.
  4. Pencavel, John, 1998. "Assortative Mating by Schooling and the Work Behavior of Wives and Husbands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 326-29, May.
  5. Aaberge, Rolf, 1997. "Interpretation of changes in rank-dependent measures of inequality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 215-219, August.
  6. Rolf Aaberge, 2007. "Gini’s nuclear family," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 305-322, December.
  7. Dickens, William T & Lundberg, Shelly J, 1993. "Hours Restrictions and Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(1), pages 169-92, February.
  8. Iulie Aslaksen & Charlotte Koren, 1996. "Unpaid household work and the distribution of extended income: The Norwegian experience," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(3), pages 65-80.
  9. David Betson & Jacques van der Gaag, 1984. "Working Married Women and the Distribution of Income," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(4), pages 532-543.
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Cited by:
  1. Konrad, Kai A. & Lommerud, Kjell Erik, 2008. "Love and taxes - and matching institutions," Working Papers in Economics 03/08, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  2. Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez & Andrés Hincapié & Ruben Irvin Rojas-Valdés, 2012. "Family Income Inequality and the Role of Married Females' Earnings in Mexico: 1988-2010," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 49(1), pages 67-98, May.
  3. Raaum Oddbjørn & Bratsberg Bernt & Røed Knut & Österbacka Eva & Eriksson Tor & Jäntti Markus & Naylor Robin A, 2008. "Marital Sorting, Household Labor Supply, and Intergenerational Earnings Mobility across Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-49, January.
  4. Kimhi, Ayal, 2011. "Can Female Non-Farm Labor Income Reduce Income Inequality? Evidence from Rural Southern Ethiopia," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114756, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  5. Raymundo M. Campos Vázquez & Andrés Hincapie & Rubén I. Rojas Valdés, 2011. "Family Income Inequality and the Role of Wives Earnings in Mexico: 1988-2010," Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos 2011-07, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos.

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