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The relationship between women’s work histories and incomes in later life in the UK, US and West Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Maria Evandrou
  • Jane Falkingham
  • Tom Sefton

Abstract

Using data from several large scale longitudinal surveys, this paper investigates the relationship between older women's personal incomes and their work histories in the UK, US and West Germany. By comparing three countries with very different welfare regimes, we seek to gain a better understanding of the interaction between the life course, pension system and women's incomes in later life. The association between older women's incomes and work histories is strongest in West Germany and weakest in the UK, where there is evidence of a pensions' poverty trap and where only predominantly full-time employment is associated with significantly higher incomes in later life, after controlling for other socio-economic characteristics. Work history matters less for widows (in all three countries) and more for younger birth cohorts and more educated women (UK only). We conclude with a brief discussion of the 'women-friendliness' of different pension regimes in the light of our analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Evandrou & Jane Falkingham & Tom Sefton, 2009. "The relationship between women’s work histories and incomes in later life in the UK, US and West Germany," CASE Papers case137, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:sticas:case137
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    File URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/cp/CASEpaper137.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert L. Brown & Steven G. Prus, 2003. "Social Transfers and Income Inequality in Old-age: A Multi-national Perspective," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 109, McMaster University.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    comparative; older women; pensions; work history; life course;

    JEL classification:

    • H55 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Social Security and Public Pensions
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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