Changes in Employment and Hours, and Family Income Inequality in the United States, 1969-1989
This paper estimates how much changes in employment and hours worked for family heads and spouses contributed to the rise in the family income inequality between 1969 and 1989. Change in labor market activity of family heads accounts for half of the increase in the income gap between the top and bottom 10th families. The effect of change in work effort on the income inequality is considerably weaker where four-fifths of families in the middle of income distribution are considered. This result is robust to changes in the selection of the population. The rise in the inequality of labor market activity occurred largely within families headed by prime-age men. The rise in the percentage of families headed by female and the decline in employment rate for older family heads are relatively minor factors.
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"Wage Inequality and Family Labor Supply,"
NBER Working Papers
5459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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