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Alper, Kaitlin
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Series/Report no.: 
LIS Working Paper Series 766
This paper explores the dynamics of women's economic independence at the individual household level and its relationship to country-level income distributions. I posit a negative relationship between income and women's economic independence. Using detailed household-level data from the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) across thirteen advanced capitalist democracies, I show that women at upper ends of the income distribution consistently have less within-household economic independence than do their counterparts at the bottom of the distribution. I then show that this negative relationship is sensitive to political characteristics at the country level. In countries whose policies support a male breadwinner model, women's economic independence is lower across the board than in other types of countries; in gender egalitarian countries, it is higher. Family policies do not, however, have a significant impact on the income stratification of women's economic independence. These results suggest that social policy characteristics and labor market dynamics have important implications for gender equity both within and between households.
Document Type: 
Working Paper
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