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Gender identity and relative income within households: evidence from Sweden

Karin Hederos and Anders Stenberg ()

Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2022, vol. 124, issue 3, 744-772

Abstract: In their study of relative income within US households, Bertrand et al. (2015, Quarterly Journal of Economics 130, 571–614) show that the distribution of the wife's share of household income drops sharply where the wife starts earning more than her husband. They attribute the drop to a gender norm prescribing that a wife's income should not exceed her husband's income. We document a similar drop in Swedish data. However, we also show that there is a spike where spouses earn exactly the same. Excluding the equal‐earning spouses, the drop is small and mostly statistically insignificant. We conclude that, if anything, we find only weak evidence that Swedish couples comply with this gender norm.

Date: 2022
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Working Paper: Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households-Evidence from Sweden (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households: Evidence from Sweden (2015) Downloads
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Scandinavian Journal of Economics is currently edited by Richard Friberg, Matti Liski and Kjetil Storesletten

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