Study Finds That Dual-Earner Married-Couple Families Were More Likely to Weather the Recession

SmithKBIOA new study authored by Kristin Smith, a family demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy and research associate professor of sociology at the University of New Hampshire, finds that American families are increasingly relying on the income of women to make ends meet.

Dr. Smith analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey from 2000 to 2013. She found that the incomes of single-earner household stagnated during the period but dual-earner families have done quite well economically due to the earnings of married women.

“Rising family income among married-couple families coupled with falling income among single women and single men have exacerbated income equality among families,” Smith said. “State and federal policies that raise wages and encourage better benefits, such as health insurance and worker flexibility for low-wage part-time workers in small businesses could make a substantial difference in the lives of American families.”

Dr. Smith is the co-editor of the book, Economic Restructuring and Family Well-Being in Rural America (Penn State University Press, 2011). She is a graduate of the University of Vermont and holds a master of public health degree from Tulane University in New Orleans and a doctorate from the University of Maryland.

The study, “Women As Economic Providers: Dual-Earner Families Thrive As Women’s Earnings Rise,” is available here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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