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Family Well-Being Grows Faster When Wives Earn More Than Husbands: Study

A new Georgia State University study shows the number of American households in which wives earn more than husbands is growing.
A new Georgia State University study shows the number of American households in which wives earn more than husbands is growing.
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Economic 'well being' grew faster over the past twenty years in families where wives earned higher wages than their husbands. That's according to a new study from Georgia State University.

Even though women still earn less on the dollar than men, a new Georgia State University study shows the number of American households in which wives earn more than husbands is growing. 

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Georgia State Economics Professors Julie Hotchkiss and Robert Moore worked on the study. Hotchkiss says more women are becoming the top breadwinners in their families.

β€œIn 2015, in the United States on average, full-time, full-year working women earned about 81 percent of their male counterparts.  And in Georgia, women were doing a bit better – earning about 85 percent of what men in Georgia were earning,” Hotchkiss said. 

The study also found that what economists call a family’s economic well being grew faster in households where wives earned higher wages than their husbands. Economic well being is an economist’s term. But what the study comes down to is this: American families with wives earning more than their husbands have more choices.

“This well being is determined by how the family has made choices between income and time spent away from work,” Hotchkiss says.

Hotchkiss says the number of households in which women earn more than men grew during the last 20 years. One big factor, she said, was the recession that hit in 2007. That’s when many men fell out of the workforce.