Employment Patterns of Husbands and Wives and Family Income Distribution in Italy (1977-98)
25 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2003
The pattern of employment among men and women has changed remarkably over the past decades. The growth in the participation in the labor market of women with high-income husbands has heightened concerns that wives' earnings may increase income inequality among married couples, especially in countries like Italy, the U.K., and the U.S., where more noticeable growth of income inequality during the past decade has accompanied changes in employment levels. In this paper, we attempt to measure the impact of the changes of women and men's employment patterns on the distribution of income among Italian households, by considering regional differences, using micro data from the Historical Archive of the Bank of Italy Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) for the period 1977-98. Our results indicate that total income distribution would have been more unequal without women's labor income.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation