ERIC Number: ED311248
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1988-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Family Incomes in the 1980s: New Pressure on Wives, Husbands, and Young Adults. Working Paper No. 103.
Rose, Stephen; Fasenfest, David
This study examined family income developments between 1979 (the last business cycle peak) and 1986 (the latest year for which comprehensive data were available). The analyses were based on the 1980 and 1987 Current Population Survey March Supplement Data collected by and made available through the Bureau of the Census (and therefore dealing with income for 1979 and 1986). An adjusted Consumer Price Index (CPI) was used as an inflation index (technically, the CPI-U-Xl). The analysis identified four major trends: (1) slow and monopolized income growth; recent income growth has been significantly slower than that of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and those who are well-off received the lion's share of recent income growth; (2) increasing participation of married women in the paid labor force; (3) flat earnings/increasing property and transfer income; and (4) increased poverty rates for children and young adults. The study concluded that some 40 percent of U.S. families have lost income since 1979, and another 20 percent maintained roughly stable incomes only because wives have had to work harder in order to compensate for the falling wages of their husbands. The study also confirmed that this is not simply a problem of older blue-collar workers in a few declining industries as is often alleged. Young men and young women have lost ground relative to older families, which in turn is reflected in their eroding educational and home ownership status. It is also reflected in the widening phenomenon of adult children who are returning home as dependents of their parents. (A 16-item list of endnotes is attached.) (NLL)
Descriptors: Dependents, Economic Factors, Educational Status Comparison, Employed Women, Employment Patterns, Family Income, Inflation (Economics), Labor Force, Poverty, Socioeconomic Status, Spouses, Trend Analysis, Young Adults
Economic Policy Institute, 1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Suite 812, Washington, DC 20036 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Economic Policy Inst., Washington, DC.