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Gender and family

The past three decades witnessed a strong policy emphasis on improving incentives to work and invest in skills. Many of the reforms were targeted at families with children, explicitly seeking to increase the take-home pay of mothers while reducing the costs associated with work. The growing attention to families with children accompanied key demographic and economic changes: the increasing proportion of women investing in education and participating in the labour market even as mothers of young children, the strengthening in assortative marriage on education and income, the drop in marriage rates among low educated men and women and the growing numbers of children living in single parent households with low income. These trends widened the economic divide between families with children and left an increasing number of families particularly vulnerable to economic deprivation and its long term consequences. Our research on this area aims to advance understanding of the drivers of economic inequality by relating it to skills, labour force participation, gender and family, and to assess the role of policy for families in mitigating deprivation and improve the long-term outcomes of children and their families.

Selected highlights

Journal article
This paper examine the link between wage and consumption inequality using a life-cycle model incorporating consumption and family labor supply decisions.
Journal article
We present identification and estimation results for the "collective" model of labour supply in which there are discrete choices, censoring of hours, and non-participation in employment.
External publication
The success of universal preschool education depends crucially on the policy parameters and specific country context.
Journal article
In this paper, we develop an equilibrium lifecycle model of education, marriage and labor supply and consumption in a transferable utility context.
Briefing note
This briefing note is the first output in a programme of work seeking to understand the gender wage gap and its relationship to poverty. Section 1 sets out what we mean by the gender wage gap, how it differs according to education level and how it has evolved over time and across generations. ...
This report considers the extent to which differences in parental characteristics explain gaps in cognitive and socio-emotional development between children at older ages.


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Monica Costa Dias
Deputy Research Director
Sarah Cattan
Associate Director