Coupled Inequalities. Trends and Welfare State Differences in the Role of Partner’s Socio-Economic Resources for Employment Careers (2019-2024)

funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation

Project aims

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.

Team members: 

Vandecasteele Leen, P.I

Marx Luana, postdoctoral researcher (NCCR LIVES)

Dr. Marx joined LIVES and the COINEQ project as a Senior SNSF Researcher in October 2019. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Linacre College, University of Oxford, and a MSc in Social Policy (Research) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Her research interests are job market outcomes of couples over the life course, education, social policy, and quantitative and longitudinal methods. Prior to joining UNIL she did policy-oriented research for the International Social Security Association (ISSA), International Labour Office (ILO), International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG), and the Brazilian Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA).

Bian Fei, PhD-student

Fei Bian joined the COINEQ research project as a SNF doctoral student in October 2019. Before doing her PhD study at the University of Lausanne, she participated in the programme of the European Doctoral School of Demography in Germany and Denmark. She obtained a Master’s degree in Social Sciences, focusing on Demography and Social Data, from the Université de Picardie Jules Verne in France.

Degen Sophia, student assistant

Sophia Degen is a Master student at the faculty of social and political sciences of the University of Lausanne. She specialises in the area of quantitative social science and works with large-scale longitudinal and cross-sectional datasets. Her research interests are in the fields of social inequality, social policy and the life course.