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"Birds of a Feather Flock Together" The Impact of Choice of Spouse on Family Labor Income Inequality

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Abstract

This paper discusses the effects of the substantial rise in labor force participation of married women on the level, structure and trend in family labor income inequality. An interesting question is to what extent the rise in women's labor force participation has led to a tendency of "flocking together", i.e. whether women with high labor income are married to men with high labor income, or vice versa. Based on the decomposition of the Gini coefficient and a related index for the extent of "flocking together" applied to income data for Norway for the period 1973-1997 we find a tendency of "flocking together" for couples with at least one labor income and couples with two labor incomes. For couples with only one labor income (i.e. couples where only one labor income is above the threshold given by the statistical definition of labor income) the decomposition of the Gini coefficient indicates that there is no tendency of "flocking together". For this group women's labor income gives an equalizing contribution to family labor income inequality. This illustrates the importance of distinguishing between one- and two-income families in analysis of family labor income inequality.

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  • Iulie Aslaksen & Tom Wennemo & Rolf Aaberge, 2000. ""Birds of a Feather Flock Together" The Impact of Choice of Spouse on Family Labor Income Inequality," Discussion Papers 276, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:276
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    1. Iulie Aslaksen & Tom Wennemo & Rolf Aaberge, 2005. "'Birds of a Feather Flock Together': The Impact of Choice of Spouse on Family Labor Income Inequality," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(3), pages 491-515, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Andreas Peichl & Martin Ungerer, 2016. "Accounting for the spouse when measuring inequality of opportunity," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 47(3), pages 607-631, October.
    3. Iulie Aslaksen & Tom Wennemo & Rolf Aaberge, 2005. "'Birds of a Feather Flock Together': The Impact of Choice of Spouse on Family Labor Income Inequality," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(3), pages 491-515, September.
    4. Nico Pestel, 2014. "Beyond Inequality Accounting: Marital Sorting and Couple Labor Supply," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 698, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    5. Kai A. Konrad & Kjell Erik Lommerud, 2010. "Love and taxes - and matching institutions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(3), pages 919-940, August.
    6. Raymundo M. Campos Vázquez & Andrés Hincapie & Rubén I. Rojas Valdés, 2011. "Family Income Inequality and the Role of Wives Earnings in Mexico: 1988-2010," Serie documentos de trabajo del Centro de Estudios Económicos 2011-07, El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Económicos.
    7. Caroline Dewilde, 2011. "GINI DP 18: The interplay between economic inequality trends and housing regime changes in advanced welfare democracies," GINI Discussion Papers 18, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
    8. Pestel, Nico, 2015. "Marital sorting, inequality and the role of female labor supply: Evidence from East and West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-047, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. repec:bla:econom:v:84:y:2017:i:333:p:104-127 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. 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.
    11. Raaum Oddbjørn & Bratsberg Bernt & Røed Knut & Österbacka Eva & Eriksson Tor & Jäntti Markus & Naylor Robin A, 2008. "Marital Sorting, Household Labor Supply, and Intergenerational Earnings Mobility across Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-49, January.
    12. Eika, Lasse & Mogstad, Magne & Zafar, Basit, 2014. "Educational assortative mating and household income inequality," Staff Reports 682, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Mar 2017.
    13. Raymundo M. Campos-Vázquez & Andrés Hincapié & Ruben Irvin Rojas-Valdés, 2012. "Family Income Inequality and the Role of Married Females' Earnings in Mexico: 1988-2010," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 49(1), pages 67-98, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Family income distribution; decomposition of the Gini coefficient; summary measure for the extent of flocking together.;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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