“The gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ is widening for families with children in the United States,” said Bruce Western, the study’s lead author and professor of sociology and director of the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at Harvard University. “Inequality for these families has grown faster than the combined rates of inequality for all families and for men’s hourly wages.”
Unlike previous narrower research focusing on the effect of education, single parenthood or a mother’s employment on family income inequality, this study combined labor market and demographic analyses to identify inequalities. It used data from the March supplements of the Current Population Survey from 1976 to 2006, yielding annual income data from 1975 to 2005.
Sources of the widening gap included the growing income advantage for college graduates. Families with college-educated parents made increasingly more money than families headed by high school graduates. Also contributing to the gap: low-income single parents. By the early 2000s, nearly one-quarter of mothers were single. Single-parent families accounted for about a quarter of the growth in income inequality by 1993.
Despite these stratifying factors, some trends helped to close the gap between rich and poor. Increased rates of women’s employment balanced the growth of inequality resulting from single-parent families, while rising levels of education among parents helped to narrow the gap as well.
The researchers also examined income disparities within demographic groups categorized by education and family type. Incomes were the least variable within two-parent families with working mothers. Inequality was greatest within single-parent families without a working mother. Regardless of family type, the gap between high- and low-income families increased between 30 and 100 percent, making within-group inequality the leading cause of inequality for all families with children from 1975 to 2005.
“Our research suggests a broad increase in income insecurity that goes beyond low-skill workers and single parents and extends to families from every class,” Western said. “The polarization of family incomes among this generation has implications for the social and economic mobility of future generations and suggests the further erosion of the middle class in years to come.”
The research was co-authored by Harvard University sociologists Christine Percheski, a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research, and Deirdre Bloome, a graduate student in sociology and social policy and a Jacob K. Javits Fellow. It was supported by a grant from the Russell Sage Foundation, a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation fellowship and the New York University Center for Advanced Social Science Research.
The research article “Inequality among American Families with Children, 1975-2005” is available by request for members of the media. Contact Jackie Cooper, ASA’s Media Relations Officer, at email@example.com or (202) 247-9871.
The American Sociological Review is the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association.About the American Sociological Association
Jackie Cooper | Newswise Science News
Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science
Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy