Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Female labour force participation and household income inequality in Italy

Segato, Federico (2021): Female labour force participation and household income inequality in Italy.

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Abstract

This study contributes in investigating how female participation in the workforce, together with main related socio-demographic changes, has affected household incomes and their distribution in Italy. The Italian case has been investigated again, relying on theoretical and methodological knowledge of previous researches in the field of female employment and income inequality. The data employed in the analysis belong to the Bank of Italy’s Historical Archive of the Survey on Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) for years between 2000 and 2016. From a methodological point of view the approach has been complemented and has enabled to fill previous research gaps. Not only married women have been considered and they are no more divided between working women and inactive one. The choice of consider existing heterogeneity in working hours has allowed to examine part-time role in inequality increase. How female employment increase has affected income inequality has been analysed first at individual level and only later at the household one. The first analysis level has been performed with descriptive statistics and the second with two different decomposition methods, one for income sources and one for household types. To these a shift-share analysis and a counterfactual analysis have been applied. In Italy, even with regional differences, female employment has continued to grow with overall equalizing effects on household income distribution. With regard to socio-demographic changes, male breadwinner households reduction and single households increase have contributed in household income inequality drop. For the Italian case, part-time can contribute in inequality decline only in the case of female breadwinner households.

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