The Emergence of Women as Main Earners in Europe
Agnese Vitali, University of Southampton
Daria Mendola, Università degli Studi di Palermo
This paper conducts a cross-sectional empirical research aimed at documenting the emergence of a new family model characterized by women who earn the largest share of their household income. We show that in Europe, couples with women as the main earner have started to represent a non-negligible share of the population and identify the key characteristics of couples in which women are the main earner in comparison to equal-earner couples and to couples in which men are the main earner. We undertake a comparative approach using micro-level data from the European Social Survey on 19 countries and two time periods (2004 and 2010).