Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 3 No. 1 (Winter 1989)


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Women in the Labor Market and in the Family

Article Citation

Smith, James P., and Michael Ward. 1989. "Women in the Labor Market and in the Family." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 3(1): 9-23.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.3.1.9


There are two themes in this paper. First, we argue that the conventional wisdom of an absence of any substantial labor market progress for women is mistaken. Instead, throughout this century, women's wages have been steadily rising relative to those of men, a progress likely to accelerate in the next few decades. Second, we contend that this labor market progress is not enough. Alongside their labor market advances, the relative economic plight of many women is worsening. The downside news is the increasing feminization of poverty, a reflection of the growing instability of the American family.

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Smith, James P. (Unlisted)
Ward, Michael (Unlisted)

JEL Classifications

826: Labor Markets: Demographic Characteristics
917: Economics of Minorities; Economics of Discrimination
841: Demographic Economics


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