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Mandel, Hadas
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LIS Working Paper Series 550
Cross-national studies of the impact of welfare states on gender inequality tend to overlook socioeconomic divisions among women. This paper challenges the implicit assumption that welfare states have uniform effects on the labour market attainments of all women, arguing that the impact of state intervention is necessarily conditioned by women's relative advantage or disadvantage in the labour market. Based on micro-datasets from 21 advanced countries, the findings suggest that welfare state policies interact with socioeconomic position in determining women's economic rewards, tending to penalize highly skilled women while benefiting the less-skilled. Highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of social policies in light of the particular groups they benefit, as well as their implications for other groups, the paper concludes that more research is needed to explore differentiated approaches to reconciling work and family, rather than addressing universal work-family tensions.
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Working Paper
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