Coupled Inequalities. Trends and Welfare State Differences in the Role of Partner’s Socio-Economic Resources for Employment Careers (2019-2022)
funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation
Understanding the way in which people’s labour market outcomes are influenced by their household members has become indispensable and timely against the background of social developments like the rise of female employment and inequality between families. The aim of this project is to investigate how the socio-economic status of both partners in a couple shapes household employment patterns over the life course, in different countries and over generations.
Previous research has examined the role of partner effects, but studies explicitly addressing the time trends and country context of partner effects are rare. Partner effects may be stronger/weaker in certain countries, after different life events and will have changed in their magnitude over generations. In order to formulate testable hypotheses, theories of the welfare state are used, next to theories of social stratification and cumulative (dis)advantage as well as theories of the division of labour within families and social capital transmission. Hypotheses are tested about how specific characteristics of the labour market and family policy influence the way in which the socio-economic position of the partner plays a role. The research is based on longitudinal analyses of the European Survey of Income and Living Conditions data, the British Household Panel Survey, the German Socio-Economic Panel and the Swiss Household Panel.