Venue: Palazzo di Sociologia, via Verdi 26 (Trento) – Aula Kessler
- Jan Van Bavel - KU Leuven
Recent research on family and fertility has frequently emphasized the importance of gender equality in the domestic sphere, considered as lagging behind the public domain in this respect. We argue that equality in the private domain will be shaped by the reversal of the gender gap in education and by the emerging patterns of assortative mating. Women’s relatively higher education and high labor market participation have already increased the number of couples where the woman out-earns her partner. In this paper, we show how this new pattern influences decision-making in couples, which in turn may shape gender equality in the couple. We investigated how decision-making about money-related questions in the couple is reported by women and how it associates with their educational pairing and relative earnings. Using European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions 2010 data for 27 European countries (n=72,638), we found that women who out-earn their partner are more likely to report that they alone make major decisions about money in the family. We also found that the association with relative earnings is not linear and may be affected by attempts to reduce deviance from traditional gender roles.