IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Wives’ Work And Income Distribution In European Countries

Listed author(s):
  • Silvia Pasqua


Women’s participation in the labour market varies substantially across Europe. In Northern countries female participation is usually higher, while, as we move towards the South of Europe, more traditional household models are still predominant and women are more devoted to domestic than to labour-market activities. At the same time we find that income is distributed more equally in North Europe (except the UK and Ireland) than in Southern Europe. The paper analyses the impact of wives’ work on income distribution in a cross-national perspective using ECHP (European Community Household Panel) data for 1995. The decomposition of inequality by type of household shows that almost everywhere income is distributed more equally among dual-earner than among male-breadwinner households. As the percentage of dual-earner families is higher in Northern Europe countries, this contributes to equality. Sub-group analysis shows also that within-group inequality is the main source of inequality in all countries, while between-groups inequality has a lower impact. Decomposition by sources of income reveals that in European countries women’s earnings explain a lower proportion of total inequality than men’s earnings and the impact of women’s work on income distribution is mainly due to the “employment effect”: where women work less, inequality in women’s earnings distribution is higher because of the presence of many zeros in the distribution. Moreover, the analysis of the inequality among working wives shows that female labour income is distributed more equally where women’s employment rates are higher and vice versa. Finally, using counterfactual distributions, it is possible to show how an increase in women’s participation in the labour market can decrease inequality in household income distribution

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY in its series CHILD Working Papers with number wp01_02.

in new window

Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2002
Handle: RePEc:wpc:wplist:wp01_02
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Via Po 53 10124 Turin

Phone: 39-011=6702726
Fax: 39-011-6702762
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpc:wplist:wp01_02. 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: (Giovanni Bert)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.