Working Wives and Dual-earner Families

Working Wives and Dual-earner Families

Working Wives and Dual-earner Families

Working Wives and Dual-earner Families

Synopsis

This book analyzes the effects of wives' employment on the economic status of families, using both descriptive and empirical research. The historical and socio-economic causes of change in the employment status of wives and husbands are detailed. The empirical studies respond to some basic questions about dual-earner families: How does having an employed wife influence family lifestyles? What effects do dual-earners have on the finances of their households and on the distribution of income? What policy changes are needed to recognize the economic importance of dual-earner families?

Excerpt

Debate, including consciousness raising, has flourished and much has been written about the changing roles of men and women and women's increased labor force participation. However, little of this has centered specifically on husbands and wives and the effects of these socioeconomic changes on married-couple families. The objective of this book is to fill this gap with descriptive and empirical research on the economics of dual-earner families and their central role in the economy and society.

The study of dual-earner families has been of special interest to the authors for several years. This topic combines concerns for social welfare, the economic status of families, and numerous public policy issues that will have increasing importance through the 1990s. The United States has already witnessed some concern at the national policy level regarding child care, parental leave, equitable tax status for differing households, and related family issues. This text provides substantive input to ongoing dialogues about these issues that we believe will be helpful to researchers, students, decision makers, and those concerned about the welfare of families.

We want to thank those who have read the manuscript at various stages of development and have made valuable suggestions for its improvement. In particular, we acknowledge the generous encouragement and help of former professors and mentors. Carolyn Bell, professor emeritus, Wellesley College, gave us detailed feedback and important suggestions for broadening the scope of the manuscript. Her comprehensive knowedge and contributions to the literature provided both additional references . . .

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