Trends in the Well-Being of American Women: 1970–1995

Francine D. Blau

in Gender, Inequality, and Wages

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199665853
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745805 | DOI:

Series: IZA Prize in Labor Economics

Trends in the Well-Being of American Women: 1970–1995

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This chapter delineates the trends in the well-being of American women over the last quarter century of the 1900s, painting a picture of substantial progress toward gender equality across a number of dimensions. Working in the opposite direction, however, trends in family structure and, in particular, the increase in families headed by single women, have adversely affected the economic well-being of women and their dependent children. Furthermore, as in the case of men, wage differentials by education widened among women in the 1980s and early 1990s, and female high school dropouts experienced real wage declines. While women at all skill levels upgraded their occupations, less skilled and middle skilled women lost union jobs, and their representation in higher paying industries declined. Finally, the income of individuals in families headed by couples with lower educational attainment has fallen relative to that of more highly educated couples.

Keywords: well-being differentials; gender; real wage; high school dropouts; skill levels

Chapter.  25029 words. 

Subjects: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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