Educational and Gender Inequalities in Income Trajectories: The Role of Educational Disparities in Family Life Courses?

Misun Lim , European University Institute
Juho Härkönen, European University Institute

Educational differences in family trajectories—in which trajectories characterized by family instability are increasingly followed by the less educated—have gained much attention in family demography and stratification research. Family demographic differences by education have the potential to strengthen social inequality by education and by gender, both within and across life courses, but thus far research that has explicitly analyzed the inequality enforcing effects of these family demographic patterns are few. We asked whether differences in family trajectories by education among White American women and men shape educational and gender inequalities in income over the life course using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1979. We will estimate educational differences in the (hazard) rates of experiencing various family formation and dissolution events as well panel regression models of the effects of these events on income. Finally, we will combine these estimates to simulate income trajectories assuming that all educational groups follow the family demographic life courses of the college educated. We will use results from these simulations to assess whether—and how much—educational differences in family life courses contribute to inequalities in life course patterns in income.

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 Presented in Session 108. Life Course