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A Life Cycle Perspective on Changes in Earnings Inequality among Married Men and Women

  • John Pencavel

The connection between changes in earnings inequality of individuals and changes in family earnings involves several links: the movements in the employment of different family members, the association between changes in husbands' and in wives' earnings, and patterns of assortative mating. A decomposition of the logarithm of the coefficient of variation in family earnings identifies these links. The data on the dispersion of family earnings are organized not simply over time, but also by age. The growth in wives' relative employment and earnings has partly offset the effects on family earnings inequality of the increase in husbands' earnings inequality. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 232-242

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:88:y:2006:i:2:p:232-242
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  1. Lehrer, Evelyn & Nerlove, Marc, 1981. "The Impact of Female Work on Family Income Distribution in the United States: Black-White Differentials," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 27(4), pages 423-31, December.
  2. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M, 1997. "Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 72-97, January.
  3. Deaton, A. & Paxson, C., 1993. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Papers 168, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  4. Orazio Attanasio & Gabriella Berloffa & Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 2002. "From Earnings Inequality to Consumption Inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(478), pages C52-C59, March.
  5. Lehrer, Evelyn & Nerlove, Marc, 1984. "A Life-Cycle Analysis of Family Income Distribution," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(3), pages 360-74, July.
  6. Smith, James P, 1979. "The Distribution of Family Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 163-92, October.
  7. Layard, Richard & Zabalza, Antoni, 1979. "Family Income Distribution: Explanation and Policy Evaluation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S133-61, October.
  8. 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.
  9. Dean R. Hyslop, 2001. "Rising U.S. Earnings Inequality and Family Labor Supply: The Covariance Structure of Intrafamily Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 755-777, September.
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