IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Male/Female Earnings Differences in Self-Employment: The Effects of Marriage, Children, and the Household Division of Labor


  • Greg Hundley


Data from the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics are used to investigate reasons for the gender earnings gap among the self-employed. Compared to organizational employment, self-employment may allow workers freer adjustment of work effort in response to changing needs for market work income and household production. Consistent with that hypothesis, the analysis shows that self-employed women's earnings declined with marriage, family size, and hours of housework, whereas self-employed men's earnings increased with marriage and family size. Organizationally employed workers' earnings exhibited a similar but less pronounced pattern, suggesting that in the self-employment sector the structure of female/male relative earnings was more sensitive to family size and composition. Self-employed women and men specialized more intensively in housework and market work, respectively. Women apparently tended to choose self-employment to facilitate household production, and men to achieve higher earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Greg Hundley, 2000. "Male/Female Earnings Differences in Self-Employment: The Effects of Marriage, Children, and the Household Division of Labor," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 95-114, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:54:y:2000:i:1:p:95-114

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:54:y:2000:i:1:p:95-114. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.