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Dual-Earner Families - Conclusion

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Tax policies and the provision of governmental grants generally determine whether mothers work full-time outside of the home. Those countries where policies provide benefits to full-time dual-earner families have a higher proportion of married mothers working full-time than do countries where policies penalize more than one full-time employed worker in a home (Crompton 1997; Moss 1988; Scott 1999).

Further, it is clear is that wives' income production does not, by itself, transform male-dominated marriages into egalitarian ones. Women's ability to earn their own incomes, and to survive economically outside marriages, seems to be a necessary but not sufficient condition for equality within marriage. Cultural beliefs continue to matter tremendously. In a patriarchal kinship network, if women enter paid labor because their men are underemployed or unemployed, they simply carry two jobs, the double burden, and do not necessarily challenge, at least in the short run, the submissiveness presumed to be a part of the wife role. Only societies in which women entering and remaining in the paid labor is part of a gender revolution, in which there is a cultural belief in individual rights, for women as well as men, is women's labor force participation part of a larger social change toward equality between the sexes. Only in the context of social change toward gender equality more generally is there a movement toward equality in marriage when women work for pay.

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SHANNON N. DAVIS BARBARA J. RISMAN

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