The Relationship between Women’s Work Histories and Incomes in Later Life in the UK, US and West Germany

28 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2010

See all articles by Maria Evandrou

Maria Evandrou

University of Southampton - School of Social Sciences

Jane Falkingham

University of Southampton - Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI)

Tom Sefton

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE)

Date Written: June 2009

Abstract

Using data from several large scale longitudinal surveys, this paper investigates the relationship between older women's personal incomes and their work histories in the UK, US and West Germany. By comparing three countries with very different welfare regimes, we seek to gain a better understanding of the interaction between the life course, pension system and women's incomes in later life. The association between older women's incomes and work histories is strongest in West Germany and weakest in the UK, where there is evidence of a pensions' poverty trap and where only predominantly full-time employment is associated with significantly higher incomes in later life, after controlling for other socio-economic characteristics. Work history matters less for widows (in all three countries) and more for younger birth cohorts and more educated women (UK only). We conclude with a brief discussion of the 'women-friendliness' of different pension regimes in the light of our analysis.

JEL Classification: H55, I38

Suggested Citation

Evandrou, Maria and Falkingham, Jane and Sefton, Tom, The Relationship between Women’s Work Histories and Incomes in Later Life in the UK, US and West Germany (June 2009). LSE STICERD Research Paper No. CASE137. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1547613

Maria Evandrou (Contact Author)

University of Southampton - School of Social Sciences ( email )

Southampton SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom
(023) 8059 4808 (Phone)

Jane Falkingham

University of Southampton - Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI) ( email )

Southampton SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom

Tom Sefton

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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