The Perceived Justice of Personal Income: Gender-Specific Patterns and the Importance of the Household Context (Die wahrgenommene Gerechtigkeit des eigenen Erwerbseinkommens: Geschlechtstypische Muster und die Bedeutung des Haushaltskontextes)

25 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2010

See all articles by Stefan Liebig

Stefan Liebig

Bielefeld University - Department of Sociology; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel

Carsten Sauer

Bielefeld University

Jürgen Schupp

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin); Institute for Sociology, Freie Universität; The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: July 1, 2010

Abstract

The rise in female labor market participation and the growth of "atypical" employment arrangements has, over the last few decades, brought about a steadily decreasing percentage of households in which the man is the sole breadwinner, and a rising percentage of dual-earner households. Against this backdrop, the present paper investigates how household contexts in which the traditional "male breadwinner" model still exists or has already been challenged affect individuals’ subjective evaluations of the justice of their personal earnings. In the first step we derive three criteria used by individuals to evaluate the fairness or justice of their personal earnings: compensation for services rendered, coverage of basic needs, and the opportunity to earn social approval. In the second step, we apply considerations from household economics and new approaches from gender research to explain why men’s and women’s evaluations of justice are determined to a considerable degree by the specific situation within their household. The assumptions derived regarding gender-specific patterns in justice attitudes are then tested on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) from 2007 and 2005. The results support our central thesis that gender-specific patterns in the evaluation of personal earnings are both reduced and increased in dual-earner households. They are reduced because women in dual-income households tend to have higher income expectations that challenge the existing gender wage gap. At the same time, gender-specific patterns are increased because men evaluate the equity of their personal income in relation to their ability to fulfill traditional gender norms and thus their capacity to live up to corresponding notions of "masculinity."

Keywords: fairness, equity, inequality, pay differentials, dual-earner households, gender, gender norms

Suggested Citation

Liebig, Stefan and Sauer, Carsten and Schupp, Juergen, The Perceived Justice of Personal Income: Gender-Specific Patterns and the Importance of the Household Context (Die wahrgenommene Gerechtigkeit des eigenen Erwerbseinkommens: Geschlechtstypische Muster und die Bedeutung des Haushaltskontextes) (July 1, 2010). SOEPpaper No. 309. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1645944 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1645944

Stefan Liebig (Contact Author)

Bielefeld University - Department of Sociology ( email )

Fakultaet fuer Soziologie
Universitaetsstr. 25
33613 Bielefeld, DE 33613
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/soz/personen/liebig/

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel ( email )

DIW Berlin
Berlin, Berlin 14191
Germany

Carsten Sauer

Bielefeld University ( email )

Universitätsstraße 25
Bielefeld, 33615
Germany

Juergen Schupp

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, D-10117
Germany
+49 30 8 978 9238 (Phone)
+49 30 8 978 9109 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.diw.de/deutsch/das_institut/mitarbeiter/innen/26652.html?uid=jschupp

Institute for Sociology, Freie Universität ( email )

Garystr. 55
I
Berlin, D-14195
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/soziologie/mitarbeiter/b_hochschullehrer/schupp.html

The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/index_html?lang=de&mainframe=http%3A//www.iza.org/de/webcontent/personnel/fellows

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