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

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  • Greg Hundley

Abstract

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
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    4. Keith A. Bender & Kristen Roche, 2016. "Self-employment and the paradox of the contented female worker," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 421-435, August.
    5. Daniela Campus & Gianna Giannelli, 2016. "Is the Allocation of Time Gender Sensitive to Food Price Changes? An Investigation of Hours of Work in Uganda," Working Papers - Economics wp2016_16.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    6. Ahmed, Salma & McGillivray, Mark, 2015. "Human Capital, Discrimination, and the Gender Wage Gap in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 506-524.
    7. Pernilla Andersson Joona, 2017. "Are mothers of young children more likely to be self-employed? The case of Sweden," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 307-333, March.
    8. Arturo Aguilar & Eliana Carranza & Markus Goldstein & Talip Kilic & Gbemisola Oseni, 2015. "Decomposition of gender differentials in agricultural productivity in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(3), pages 311-334, May.
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    10. Marcus T. Wolfe & Pankaj C. Patel, 2017. "Instant gratification: temporal discounting and self-employment," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(4), pages 861-882, April.
    11. Jose Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal & Jose Alberto Molina & Raquel Ortega, 2012. "Self-employed mothers and the work-family conflict," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(17), pages 2133-2147, June.
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    13. Aurora Galego, 2006. "The Self-Employment Choice in Portugal: How Different are Women from Men," Economics Working Papers 3_2006, University of Évora, Department of Economics (Portugal).
    14. Jessica K. Simon & Megan McDonald Way, 2016. "Why the Gap? Determinants of Self-Employment Earnings Differentials for Male and Female Millennials in the US," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 297-312, June.
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    17. Dongxu Wu & Zhongmin Wu, 2015. "Intergenerational links, gender differences, and determinants of self-employment," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 42(3), pages 400-414, August.
    18. Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia M. Robb, 2007. "Why Are Black-Owned Businesses Less Successful than White-Owned Businesses? The Role of Families, Inheritances, and Business Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 289-323.
    19. Taehyun Ahn, 2016. "An Analysis of Employment Dynamics in Korea: The Role of Temporary Work and Self-Employment," Working Papers 1606, Research Institute for Market Economy, Sogang University.
    20. Marcus T. Wolfe & Pankaj C. Patel, 2016. "Grit and self-employment: a multi-country study," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 853-874, December.
    21. repec:kap:sbusec:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9793-y is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Juan Carlos, Campaña & J. Ignacio, Giménez-Nadal & Jose Alberto, Molina, 2017. "Self-employment and educational childcare time: Evidence from Latin America," MPRA Paper 77360, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    23. Margaret E. Blume-Kohout, 2016. "Why are some foreign-born workers more entrepreneurial than others?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(6), pages 1327-1353, December.
    24. Carlianne Patrick & Heather Stephens & Amanda Weinstein, 2016. "Where are all the self-employed women? Push and pull factors influencing female labor market decisions," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 365-390, March.
    25. Juan Carlos, Campaña & J. Ignacio, Giménez-Nadal & Jose Alberto, Molina, 2017. "Differences between self-employed and employed mothers in balancing family and work responsibilities: Evidence from Latin American countries," MPRA Paper 77964, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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