Is Dual Income Costly for Married Couples? An Analysis of Household Expenditures
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This study analyzed annual household outlays in the recent Consumer Expenditure Survey to obtain the cost of dual income for married couples. Of the crude differences between two- and one-earner married households in payments and expenditures, the portion reflecting structural differences in demand was obtained through decomposition as the measure of the cost of dual income. We found dual-earner couples’ work-related expenditures diminished fulltime working wives’ net contribution by 1.7 % of their average earning. Greater tax burden and Social Security payments diminished fulltime working wives’ net contribution by additional 2.0 and 3.4 % of their average earnings, respectively. Dual-earner couples contributed more to private pension plans and experienced lower levels of current-period consumption including consumption of market substitutes for housework.
KeywordsDual-earner households Consumption expenditure Marriage penalty Social Security Married women’s labor supply
This work was supported by the Samsung Research Grant funded through Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea (S2009-0446-000).
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