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

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  • John Pencavel

    (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

Abstract

The connection between the growth in hourly earnings inequality of individuals and changes in family earnings involves a number of issues: the movements in the employment of different family members, the association between changes in the earnings of the husband and those of the wife, and patterns of assortative mating. This paper offers a decomposition of the logarithm of the coefficient of variation in family earnings that distinguishes these issues. Unlike most of the previous research, this paper organizes the data on the dispersion of family earnings not simply over time but also by age. We focus on the impact on family earnings inequality of the growth in the relative employment and relative earnings of wives. Such growth has partly offset the effects on family earnings inequality of the increase in husbands’ earnings inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • John Pencavel, 2005. "A Life Cycle Perspective on Changes in Earnings Inequality Among Married Men and Women," Discussion Papers 04-036, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:04-036
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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 423-431, December.
    2. Smith, James P, 1979. "The Distribution of Family Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 163-192, October.
    3. 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.
    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 52-59, March.
    5. Deaton, Angus & Paxson, Christina, 1994. "Intertemporal Choice and Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 437-467, June.
    6. Lehrer, Evelyn & Nerlove, Marc, 1984. "A Life-Cycle Analysis of Family Income Distribution," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 22(3), pages 360-374, July.
    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 133-161, October.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:labeco:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:168-182 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Olivier Donni & Eleonora Matteazzi, 2012. "On the Importance of Household Production in Collective Models: Evidence from U.S. Data," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 105-106, pages 99-125.
    3. Kimhi, Ayal, 2011. "Can Female Non-Farm Labor Income Reduce Income Inequality? Evidence from Rural Southern Ethiopia," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114756, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Ayal Kimhi, 2009. "Male Income, Female Income, and Household Income Inequality in Israel: A Decomposition Analysis," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 18(3-4), pages 34-48, September.
    5. Richard Breen & Signe Andersen, 2012. "Educational Assortative Mating and Income Inequality in Denmark," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(3), pages 867-887, August.
    6. El Lahga, AbdelRahmen & Moreau, Nicolas, 2007. "Would you Marry me? The Effects of Marriage on German Couples? Allocation of Time," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-024, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    7. Richard V. Burkhauser & Shuaizhang Feng & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2009. "Using The P90-P10 Index To Measure U.S. Inequality Trends With Current Population Survey Data: A View From Inside The Census Bureau Vaults," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(1), pages 166-185, March.
    8. Huang, Fung-Mey & Luh, Yir-Hueih & Huang, Fung-Yea, 2012. "Unemployment information and wives’ labor supply responses to husbands’ job loss in Taiwan," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 1176-1194.
    9. El Lahga, AbdelRahmen & Moreau, Nicolas, 2007. "The Effects of Marriage on Couples’ Allocation of Time Between Market and Non-Market Hours," IZA Discussion Papers 2619, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Keng, Shao-Hsun & Orazem, Peter F., 2017. "Performance Pay, the Marriage Market and Rising Income Inequality in Taiwan," ISU General Staff Papers 201702050800001023, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    11. Ostrovsky, Yuri, 2012. "The correlation of spouses' permanent and transitory earnings and family earnings inequality in Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 756-768.
    12. Pencavel, John, 2006. "Earnings Inequality and Market Work in Husband-Wife Families," IZA Discussion Papers 2235, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement

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