Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Spousal Safety Net

by Nancy Folbre

New York Times
October 12, 2010

In today’s economy, men are lucky if they have a wife in their portfolio. Traditional women’s jobs have been hit less hard by recession than men’s jobs. Many married women have softened the financial impact of their husbands’ unemployment by finding jobs or increasing their hours of paid work.

As a result, dual-earner households are becoming more dual. A recent briefing paper by Kristin Smith of the Carsey Institute of the University of New Hampshire documents a sharp uptick in historical trends. Wives now contribute 47 percent of family income in married-couple households where the wives are employed.

Professor Smith explains that increased reliance on wives’ earnings largely reflects a recession-related decline in men’s employment and earnings.


Read the Paper

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