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Changes in family welfare from 1994 to 2012: a tale of two decades
The female/male average wage ratio has steadily risen from 1983 to 2012. In earlier work, we found that the falling wage gap from 1983 to 1993 was materially detrimental to the average dual-earner family. The female/male wage ratio continued to rise over the following two decades, accompanied by a growing share of households in which the wife is the principal household income generator. This paper investigates how these two developments affected family welfare. Although family welfare rose during the 1990s, the story of the 2000s is quite different.