The contribution of women's employment and earnings to household income inequality: a cross-country analysis

S E Harkness

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Aggregate data shows an inverse relationship between female employment and
income inequality. This paper investigates this relationship using micro-data for
seventeen OECD countries. In all countries, female earnings exert an equalising force on the distribution of income in spite of large employment gaps between high and low educated women. There are marked similarities across countries; even in Nordiccountries where employment rates are high female earnings comprise a small proportion of the family budget and single women, employed or not, are overrepresented in the bottom of the income distribution. The US is the one country that stands out, with greater earnings equality among couples and more single women households making it into the top quintile. For all countries, raising female employment and reducing employment inequality between women would have a substantial impact on reducing household income inequality, and a far larger impact than reducing the gender pay gap.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2010
EventInequality and the Status of the Middle Classes: Lessons from the Luxembourg Income Study - , Luxembourg
Duration: 28 Jun 201030 Jun 2010

Conference

ConferenceInequality and the Status of the Middle Classes: Lessons from the Luxembourg Income Study
CountryLuxembourg
Period28/06/1030/06/10

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