Factors Associated With Couples' Relative Earning Patterns in 2016

Vanessa Lang , Bowling Green State University

Dual-earning couples are currently the norm in the United States. However, such couples are far from a homogeneous group in terms of the relative income contribution of each partner. To what extent the share of couples where women earn equally to or earn more than their male partners has increased is an important question, which surprisingly little research has investigated, an important oversight given changing union patterns and demographic shifts in the U.S over the past few decades. The goal of this paper is to examine the 2017 Current Population Survey (CPS) to provide a contemporary portrait of couples’ relative earning patterns and factors associated with such patterns. Preliminary findings show small but real shifts in the earning patterns of couples. This research will provide a more nuanced understanding of gender equality in the United States.

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 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality