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Education and entitlement to household income. A gendered longitudinal analysis of British couples Jerome De Henau and Susan Himmelweit IAFFE annual conference,

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Presentation on theme: "Education and entitlement to household income. A gendered longitudinal analysis of British couples Jerome De Henau and Susan Himmelweit IAFFE annual conference,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Education and entitlement to household income. A gendered longitudinal analysis of British couples Jerome De Henau and Susan Himmelweit IAFFE annual conference, July 2010, Buenos Aires

2 2 Aims  Understanding determinants of satisfaction with household income  Indicator of access to household resources?  Indicator of material (subjective) well-being?  Investigating gender specialisation as source of efficiency (gendered?)  Educational homogamy and (gender) equality  More similar gender role attitudes  Reduced gain from specialisation

3 3 Motivation  Long record of research on income inequality – also gender income inequality  Inside household, long record of research attempts to identify how men and women in couples share their resources  Also long record of research on financial satisfaction as proxy for subjective (material) well-being (SMWB)  Most analyses are carried out at individual level even for couples  Very little account of gender  Investigating those missing links

4 4 Research on satisfaction  Ferrer-i-Carbonell and van Praag (2003):  income satisfaction inequality: if IS is equal for two individuals with different characteristics then their welfare is equal  Analysis at individual level: implicit assumption that hh income is equally (or at least fairly) shared between partners  Kristoffersen (2010):  Measures of satisfaction represent valid accounts of respondents’ evaluation of their situation (e.g. financial situation / income)  Interpersonal comparability  Possibly interval / difference validity

5 5 Research on division of work  Sigle-Rushton (2010):  Weakly rejects Becker’s specialisation (efficiency gains in marriage) – against many studies who found evidence of it (e.g. Blau et al. 2000)  Men’s unpaid work reduced probability of divorce  But need better account of perceptions  Can man’s and woman’s tasks have different economic values for partners?  What does it tell us about gains from specialisation / individual access/command to income?

6 6 Access to income  Satisfaction with household income is influenced by:  Income, expenditure (costs), assets and debt  Efficiency gains (from specialisation), economies of scale (household composition)  Degree of security of resources (risk sharing / capacity of mobilising new resources through employment, savings, etc.)  Personal access to income for individual purposes (including altruistic use)  Unobserved fixed characteristics (personality, degree of adaptation to adverse events)  Other (potentially observable) variable characteristics (importance of other aspects such as leisure time, social life, etc., expectations of change and past change)

7 7 Data  British Household Panel Survey ( )  Stable couples of working age with or without children  Household information (real annual household income, number and age of children, home ownership)  Individual information for each partner (potential wage, earns > 75% of total earnings, weekly hours of housework, working part-time, inactive, unemployed, long term disabled, expectations of future financial situation, change in financial situation since last year, whether saves each month, overall satisfaction with life)  Four educational groups (different gender role attitudes, expectations and opportunities) – high/low educ.

8 8 Descriptive results

9 9

10 10 Model specification  Dep. Var.: individual satisfaction with hh income  Linear fixed effect regression (Ferrer-i-Carbonell and Frijters 2004), for each partner and jointly with sex inter.  Comparison of effects of own and partner’s characteristics on individual satisfaction according to gender; we expect:  If specialisation gains (and following gender norms), man’s employment and woman unpaid work to be valued by both (and symmetrically, man’s unpaid work and woman’s full- time work to reduce income satisfaction of both partners)  greater specialisation in low educated couples (traditional GRA and more scarce resources)  Higher individual expectations with own education  Effects of variables presented in terms of the equivalent % change in hh income

11 11 Selected overall effects (all sig. at 95%)

12 12 By level of education in hh (sig.>90%)

13 13 By level of education in hh (sig.>90%)

14 14 Main results  Gender effects quite striking:  Men don’t actually care about their partner’s employment of housework situation  Both men and women value man’s employment considerably more than woman’s (and so dislike male unpaid work, inactivity or unemployment)  A bit less for higher educated partners (but still present)  Children remain a woman’s burden (remaining effect seems to be time-use related as costs of young children taken into account in financial situation change), except in low educated couples (cost for both)  However, women value their higher share of earnings (especially when man is low educated) and value change in their own situation more than in their partner’s


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