Women outearning men

A striking article, Why Aren’t More Wives Outearning Their Husbands? Some highlights (lowlights?):

  • “Evidence suggests that couples are less likely to get married if the woman’s income exceeds her partner’s. Once married, a wife earning more than her husband is more likely to be unhappy in the marriage, more likely to feel pressured to take fewer hours, and more likely to get divorced.”
  • “Here’s the distribution of marriages by the wife’s share of household income. As you can see, there’s a sharp drop-off after the .5 mark, where the women earns more than 50 percent of the household income.” (Check out the amazing discontinuity at 0.5.)
  • “‘And women who should out-earn their husbands based on their education and other demographics are more likely to stay at home [and not work] than the similar women who don’t out-earn the husbands,’ Kamenica said.”
  • “The most surprising thing was that wives who earn more from paid work also report doing significantly more chores around the house. This doesn’t make much sense, intuitively. For women and men at all income levels, more work in the office usually leads to less time spent doing chores at home. But suddenly, when a wife earns more than her husband, her hours spent on chores and childcare go up. ‘Classical economics can’t explain that increase,’ Kamenica said. ‘The only way to make sense of it is compensatory behavior.’ In English, please? ‘Maybe the husband feels threatened, so she does more of the cooking, even though she earns more.'”

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