IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/6206.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trends in the Well-Being of American Women, 1970-1995

Author

Listed:
  • Francine D. Blau

Abstract

This paper examines the trends in the well-being of American women over the last 25 years, a time of significant changes in the relative economic status of women and in the labor market as a whole. A broad range of indicators are considered to capture changes in women's well-being in the family as well as in the labor market. For virtually all age and education groups, substantial evidence is obtained of rising gender equality in labor market outcomes, notably labor force participation, wages, and occupational distributions. Broad evidence is also found of greater gender parity within married couple families as the housework time of husbands increased relative to wives' and the relative wages of wives rose compared to their husbands'. However, parallel to the recent evidence of the declining labor market position of lower skilled men, there has been a similar deterioration in the economic status of less educated women, especially high school dropouts. Their labor force participation rates and wages have risen at a much slower pace than those of more highly educated women, while their incidence of single headship has increased much more rapidly. These findings for less educated women serve to underscore the widening gap between more and less skilled Americans of both sexes, as well as to emphasize its broad dimensions.

Suggested Citation

  • Francine D. Blau, 1997. "Trends in the Well-Being of American Women, 1970-1995," NBER Working Papers 6206, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6206
    Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6206.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1992. "Marriage, Motherhood, and Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 233-255.
    2. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
    3. Brown, Charles & Corcoran, Mary, 1997. "Sex-Based Differences in School Content and the Male-Female Wage Gap," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 431-465, July.
    4. Leibowitz, A. & Klerman, J.A., 1995. "Explaining Changes in Married Mothers'Employment Over Time," Papers 95-13, RAND - Reprint Series.
    5. Arleen Leibowitz & Jacob Klerman, 1995. "Explaining changes in married mothers’ employment over time," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(3), pages 365-378, August.
    6. Jacob Mincer & Solomon Polachek, 1974. "Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 76-110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Daniel, K., 1991. "Does Marriage Make Men More Productive?," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 92-2, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
    8. David Neumark & Sanders Korenman, 1994. "Sources of Bias in Women's Wage Equations: Results Using Sibling Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 379-405.
    9. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1991. "Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 282-307.
    10. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 1996. "Ethnic and Racial Self-Employment Differences and Possible Explanations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 757-793.
    11. Manski, C.F., 1990. "The Selection Problem," Working papers 90-12, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    12. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1996. "Wage Structure and Gender Earnings Differentials: An International Comparison," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 29-62, Suppl..
    13. Saul D. Hoffman & Greg J. Duncan, 1995. "The Effect of Incomes, Wages, and AFDC Benefits on Marital Disruption," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 19-41.
    14. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-471, July.
    15. Gunderson, Morley, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Differentials and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 46-72, March.
    16. Juster, F Thomas & Stafford, Frank P, 1991. "The Allocation of Time: Empirical Findings, Behavioral Models, and Problems of Measurement," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 29(2), pages 471-522, June.
    17. Peter Gottschalk & Timothy M. Smeeding, 1997. "Cross-National Comparisons of Earnings and Income Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(2), pages 633-687, June.
    18. Lundberg, Shelly J & Startz, Richard, 1983. "Private Discrimination and Social Intervention in Competitive Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 340-347, June.
    19. Johnson, William R & Skinner, Jonathan, 1986. "Labor Supply and Marital Separation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 455-469, June.
    20. Elaine Sorensen, 1990. "The Crowding Hypothesis and Comparable Worth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(1), pages 55-89.
    21. Chinhui Juhn, 1992. "Decline of Male Labor Market Participation: The Role of Declining Market Opportunities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 79-121.
    22. 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.
    23. Larry Bumpass & James Sweet, 1989. "National Estimates of Cohabitation," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(4), pages 615-625, November.
    24. Charles F. Manski, 1989. "Anatomy of the Selection Problem," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 343-360.
    25. John M. Barron & Dan A. Black & Mark A. Loewenstein, 1993. "Gender Differences in Training, Capital, and Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(2), pages 343-364.
    26. Hersch, Joni & Stratton, Leslie S, 1994. "Housework, Wages, and the Division of Housework Time for Employed Spouses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 120-125, May.
    27. Leonard, Jonathan S, 1989. "Women and Affirmative Action," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 61-75, Winter.
    28. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    29. Olsen, Randall J & Farkas, George, 1990. "The Effect of Economic Opportunity and Family Background on Adolescent Cohabitation and Childbearing among Low-Income Blacks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(3), pages 341-362, July.
    30. Dennis J. Aigner & Glen G. Cain, 1977. "Statistical Theories of Discrimination in Labor Markets," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 30(2), pages 175-187, January.
    31. Smith, James P & Ward, Michael P, 1985. "Time-Series Growth in the Female Labor Force," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 59-90, January.
    32. Joni Hersch & Leslie S. Stratton, 1997. "Housework, Fixed Effects, and Wages of Married Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 285-307.
    33. Rebecca Blank, 1995. "Teen pregnancy: government programs are not the cause," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 47-58.
    34. Smith, James P & Ward, Michael, 1989. "Women in the Labor Market and in the Family," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 9-23, Winter.
    35. Robert G. Wood, 1995. "Marriage Rates and Marriageable Men: A Test of the Wilson Hypothesis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 163-193.
    36. John Pencavel, 1997. "Changes in Male Work Behavior and Wages," Working Papers 97046, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    37. Arline T. Geronimus & Sanders Korenman, 1992. "The Socioeconomic Consequences of Teen Childbearing Reconsidered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1187-1214.
    38. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 1996. "Bargaining and Distribution in Marriage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 139-158, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pc:p:3143-3259 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Michal Myck & Gillian Paull, 2001. "The role of employment experience in explaining the gender wage gap," IFS Working Papers W01/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 1999. "Analyzing the gender pay gap," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 625-646.
    5. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence Kahn, 2016. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," CESifo Working Paper Series 5722, CESifo.
    6. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2017. "The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(3), pages 789-865, September.
    7. Shelly Lundberg & Elaina Rose, 1998. "The Determinants of Specialization Within Marriage," Working Papers 0048, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    8. Blau Francine D & Kahn Lawrence M, 2007. "The Gender Pay Gap," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 4(4), pages 1-6, June.
    9. Jane Waldfogel, 1998. "Understanding the "Family Gap" in Pay for Women with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 137-156, Winter.
    10. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2008. "Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? A Cross-Country Analysis of Gender Gaps," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 621-654, October.
    11. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2006. "The U.S. Gender Pay Gap in the 1990S: Slowing Convergence," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 45-66, October.
    12. David S Loughran & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2008. "Why Wait? The Effect of Marriage and Childbearing on the Wages of Men and Women," Working Papers WR-482-1, RAND Corporation.
    13. Casey B. Mulligan & Yona Rubinstein, 2004. "Household vs. Personal Accounts of the U.S. Labor Market, 1965-2000," NBER Working Papers 10320, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & FJane Waldfogel, 2004. "The Impact of Welfare Benefits on Single Motherhood and Headship of Young Women: Evidence from the Census," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    15. Lundberg, Shelly & Rose, Elaina, 2000. "Parenthood and the earnings of married men and women," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(6), pages 689-710, November.
    16. Richardson, Katarina, 2000. "The evolution of the marriage premium in the Swedish labor market 1968-1991," Working Paper Series 2000:5, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    17. Mueller, Richard E., 2005. "The effect of marital dissolution on the labour supply of males and females: Evidence from Canada," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 787-809, December.
    18. Havet, Nathalie, 2004. "Écarts salariaux et disparités professionnelles entre sexes : développements théoriques et validité empirique," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 80(1), pages 5-39, Mars.
    19. Sami Napari, 2008. "The Early‐career Gender Wage Gap among University Graduates in the Finnish Private Sector," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(4), pages 697-733, December.
    20. Sankar Mukhopadhyay, 2012. "The Effects Of The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act On Female Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1133-1153, November.
    21. Kellokumpu, Jenni, 2015. "Essays on work and fertility," Research Reports P69, VATT Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

    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:nbr:nberwo:6206. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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.