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Gender, Inequality, and Wages$
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Francine D. Blau, Anne C. Gielen, and Klaus F. Zimmermann

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199665853

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665853.001.0001

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Trends in the Well-Being of American Women: 1970–1995

Trends in the Well-Being of American Women: 1970–1995

(p.308) 7 Trends in the Well-Being of American Women: 1970–1995
Gender, Inequality, and Wages

Francine D. Blau

Oxford University Press

This chapter delineates the trends in the well-being of American women over the last quarter century of the 1900s, painting a picture of substantial progress toward gender equality across a number of dimensions. Working in the opposite direction, however, trends in family structure and, in particular, the increase in families headed by single women, have adversely affected the economic well-being of women and their dependent children. Furthermore, as in the case of men, wage differentials by education widened among women in the 1980s and early 1990s, and female high school dropouts experienced real wage declines. While women at all skill levels upgraded their occupations, less skilled and middle skilled women lost union jobs, and their representation in higher paying industries declined. Finally, the income of individuals in families headed by couples with lower educational attainment has fallen relative to that of more highly educated couples.

Keywords:   well-being differentials, gender, real wage, high school dropouts, skill levels

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