The decline of the British breadwinner – distribution of working hours of married fathers since 1998

The number of British fathers in a couple who worked more than 45 hours a week has dropped from about 60% to under 40% since 1998.

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Source: OECD Family Database.

Distribution of the male American, British and German number of working hours

Few men work part-time. Many that do are teenagers. Two-thirds of male workers in America, Britain and Germany work at least 40 hours a week and another quarter worked 35 to 40 hours a week except in the USA. A surprising number of Americans, 11%, worked 20 to 29 hours. If they work that 30th hour, the employer must provide them with health insurance under Obamacare.

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Source: OECD Family Database.

Aggregate New Zealand European human capital of graduates, 1981-2001

There was rapid growth in the human capital of graduates and postgraduates in New Zealand between 1981 and 2001 according to the census data. The growth in female human capital was particularly rapid and especially so at the postgraduate level.

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Source: Lˆe Thi. Vˆan Tr`ınh, Estimating the monetary value of the stock of human capital for New Zealand, thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury (September 2006).

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Source: Lˆe Thi. Vˆan Tr`ınh, Estimating the monetary value of the stock of human capital for New Zealand, thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Canterbury (September 2006).

Why did married couples get a pass on the great wage stagnation and the ravages of the top 1%?

Marriage used to be a pairing of opposites: Men would work for pay and women would work at home. But in the second half of the 20th century, women flooded the labour force, raising their participation rate from 32 percent, in 1950, to nearly 60 percent in the last decade. As women closed the education gap, the very nature of marriage has changed. It has slowly become an arrangement pairing similarly rich and educated people. Ambitious workaholics used to seek partners who were happy to take care of the house. Today, they’re more likely to seek another ambitious workaholic.

The rich and educated are more likely to marry, to marry each other, and to produce rich and educated children. But this virtual cycle turns vicious for the poor.

Source: How America’s Marriage Crisis Makes Income Inequality So Much Worse – The Atlantic

@RichardvReeves Why did women get a pass on the great wage stagnation and exploitation by the top 1%?

Few labour markets statistics make much sense unless broken down by gender.

Wages growth is no exception with female wages growth quite good for a long period of time after the 1970s – a period in which male earnings stagnated.

The beginning of male wage stagnation seemed to coincide with the closing of the gender wage gap.

Presumably if men were previously profiting from patriarchy, that should have some implications for future wage growth and promotions for men as women catch up.

Presumably if men were previously profiting from patriarchy, that should have some implications for future wage growth for men as women catch up. Men lost the wage premium they previously earned from the sex discrimination directly in hiring, wage setting and promotions and investing in more education because they expected to be discriminated favourably at the expense of women.

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Not surprisingly the convergence in the male-female wage ratios started  in the 1970s which was the decade that male wage stagnation started.

The gender wage gap started converging again also pretty much in lockstep with the top 1% starting to grab higher and higher proportions of income.

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Source: Alvaredo, Facundo, Anthony B. Atkinson, Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, The World Top Incomes Database.

The man-cession illustrated

Average effective retirement age by gender in the PIGS, 1970 – 2012

Figure 1 shows a relatively distinct pattern for men in the PIGs. Portugal aside, there has been a long decline retirement ages. This is different to the Anglo-Saxon countries where effective retirement ages have been increasing in recent years for men.

Figure 1: average effective retirement age (5-year averages), men, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, 1970 – 2012

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Figure 2 shows that apart from Greece,  that after a long decline in female effective retirement ages, there was something the rebound, especially in Italy and Portugal. In Greece, the rebound was in the 80s, followed by a  resumption of decline from the mid 90s.

Figure 2: average effective retirement age (5-year averages), women, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain, 1970 – 2012

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Average effective retirement ages by gender in the USA, UK, Germany and France, 1970 – 2012

Figure 1 shows a divergence from a common starting point in 1974 effective retirement ages. The French in particular were the first to put their feet up and start retiring by the age of 60 by the early 1990. There was also a sharp increase in the average effective retirement age for men in the UK over a short decade. After that, British retirement ages for men started to climb again in the late 1990s. Figure 1 also shows that the gentle taper in the effective retirement age for American men stopped at the 1980s and started to climb again in the 2000s. The German data is too short to be of much use because of German unification. France only recently stopped seeing its effective retirement age fall and it is slightly increased recently – see figure 1

Figure 1: average effective retirement age for men, USA, UK, France and Germany, 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Figure 2 shows similar results for British and American women as for men in the same country shown in figure 1 . That is, falling effective retirement ages for both British and American women in the 1970s and 1980s followed by a slow climb again towards the end of 1990s. French  effective retirement ages for women followed the same pattern as for French retirement ages for men – a long fall  to below the age of 60 with a slight increase recently. The German retirement data suggest that effective retirement ages for German women is increasing.

Figure 2: average effective retirement age for women, USA, UK, France and Germany 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Average effective retirement ages by gender, Australia and New Zealand, 1970 – 2012

Figures 1 and 2 shows a sharp increase in the average effective retirement age for men and women in both Australia and New Zealand between 1970 and 1990. After that, retirement ages for men in both countries stabilised for about a decade. effective retirement age than Australia.

Figure 1: average effective retirement age for men, Australia and New Zealand, 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Interestingly, in the 1970s and 1980s, New Zealand had an old-age pension scheme, known as New Zealand Superannuation, whose eligibility age was lowered from 65 to 60 in one shot in 1975. This old-age pension in New Zealand had no income test or assets test, but there was for a time a small surcharge on any income of pensioners. Nonetheless, New Zealand had a higher effective retirement age than in Australia where the old-age pension eligibility age is 65 with strict income and assets tests.

Figure 2: average effective retirement age for women, Australia and New Zealand, 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

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Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Figure 1 and figure 2 also shows that the sharp increase in effective retirement ages in New Zealand for both men and women after the eligibility age for New Zealand’s old-age pension was increased from 60 to 65 over 10 years.

Figures 1 and 2 also show the gradual increase in effective retirement ages for Australian men and women from the end of the 1990s.

Average effective retirement ages by gender, USA and UK, 1970 – 2012

Figure 1 shows a divergence in the 1970s where there is a sharp increase in the average effective retirement age for men in the UK over a short decade. After that, British retirement ages for men started to climb again in the late 1990s. Figure 1 also shows that the gentle taper in the effective retirement age for American men stopped at the 1980s and started to climb again in the 2000s.

Figure 1: average effective retirement age for men, USA and UK, 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

image

Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

Figure 2 shows similar results to figure 1 for British and American women. That is, falling effective retirement ages  for both British and American women in the 1970s and 1980s followed by a slow climb again during the 1990s.

Figure 2: average effective retirement age for women, USA and UK, 1970 – 2012, (five-year average)

 image

Source: OECD Pensions at a Glance.

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