Inequality in the family: The institutional aspects of women's earning contribution

Haya Stier*, Hadas Mandel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the effect of employment-supportive policies and arrangements on women's economic contribution to their family. Using samples of working-age couples in 21 countries we employ multilevel modeling to separate the effects of household and country-level variables on earnings. We distinguish two types of relevant contextual factors: those that support women's employment while preserving their domestic roles and those that potentially reduce intra-family economic inequalities by allowing women to allocate more of their time to paid employment. The findings suggest that all employment-supportive policies and arrangements increase women's relative contribution to the household income through their effect on female labor force participation. Among dual-earner families, however, higher rates of childcare facilities increase women's contribution, while long maternity leave and part-time employment decrease it. These tendencies are more pronounced among mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-608
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Science Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Employment decisions
  • Employment-supportive policies
  • Gender inequality
  • Multilevel modelling
  • Women's earning contribution
  • Work-family interplay


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