IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/dem/wpaper/wp-2017-008.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does the age difference between partners influence the career achievements of women?

Author

Listed:
  • Anna Oksuzyan

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Angela Carollo

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Sven Drefahl

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Carlo G. Camarda

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Kaare Christensen
  • Alyson A. van Raalte

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Abstract

Women earn less than men at most career stages, and they also tend to partner with older men. This study investigates whether being the younger partner in a marriage reduces a woman’s incentive to pursue an independent career. We hypothesize that the income gender gap might be partially explained by the age differences between spouses. Using both a within-twin (n = 4716) and pooled-twin (n = 13354) design to more readily account for differences in early household environments, we investigated for Denmark whether the age gap between a female twin and her partner has any influence on her income. The hypothesis could not be confirmed, as the age gap between partners did not appear to be associated with women’s earnings. The finding that women’s wages were generally unaffected by partnering with an older man could be a result of heterogeneous groups of women entering men-older partnerships. Future research should explore this question further by using the number of promotions to assess the career success of women, and should extend this work to countries with different social welfare systems and less egalitarian gender norms.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Oksuzyan & Angela Carollo & Sven Drefahl & Carlo G. Camarda & Kaare Christensen & Alyson A. van Raalte, 2017. "Does the age difference between partners influence the career achievements of women?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2017-008, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2017-008
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2017-008.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison L. Booth & Mark L. Bryan, 2007. "Is There a Glass Ceiling over Europe? Exploring the Gender Pay Gap across the Wage Distribution," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(2), pages 163-186, January.
    2. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Bagnoli, Mark, 1993. "Courtship as a Waiting Game," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 185-202, February.
    3. Sven Drefahl, 2010. "Erratum to: How does the age gap between partners affect their survival?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(3), pages 1-1, August.
    4. Blau, David M, 1998. "Labor Force Dynamics of Older Married Couples," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 595-629, July.
    5. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina, 2002. "Children and Career Interruptions: The Family Gap in Denmark," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(276), pages 609-629, November.
    6. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, June.
    7. Christofides, Louis N. & Polycarpou, Alexandros & Vrachimis, Konstantinos, 2013. "Gender wage gaps, ‘sticky floors’ and ‘glass ceilings’ in Europe," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 86-102.
    8. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 376, OECD Publishing.
    9. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2013. "Female Labor Supply: Why Is the United States Falling Behind?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 251-256, May.
    10. Sven Drefahl, 2010. "How does the age gap between partners affect their survival?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(2), pages 313-326, May.
    11. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
    12. repec:cai:poeine:pope_901_0173 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Roger Wahlberg, 2010. "The gender wage gap across the wage distribution in the private and public sectors in Sweden," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(15), pages 1465-1468.
    14. Nicole M. Fortin, 2008. "The Gender Wage Gap among Young Adults in the United States: The Importance of Money versus People," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    15. Kunze, Astrid, 2005. "The evolution of the gender wage gap," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 73-97, February.
    16. Rosholm, Michael & Smith, Nina, 1996. "The Danish Gender Wage Gap in the 1980s: A Panel Data Study," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(2), pages 254-279, April.
    17. Eva Fransen & Janneke Plantenga & Jan Dirk Vlasblom, 2012. "Why do women still earn less than men? Decomposing the Dutch gender pay gap, 1996--2006," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(33), pages 4343-4354, November.
    18. Paul Miller, 2009. "The Gender Pay Gap in the US: Does Sector Make a Difference?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 52-74, March.
    19. Johansson, Elly-Ann, 2010. "The effect of own and spousal parental leave on earnings," Working Paper Series 2010:4, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:dem:wpaper:wp-2017-008. 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: (Peter Wilhelm). General contact details of provider: https://www.demogr.mpg.de/ .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.