Increasing Working Mothers’ Earnings

Roberta Spalter-Roth, Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D.

November 11, 1991
  • ID: C319

Previous research on both the earnings of working mothers and the poverty of women-maintained families has employed a sex-segregated model that focuses on family-related characteristics to explain women’s low wages or their inferior economic position. These family-related characteristics include such variables as marital status, presence of a full-time working spouse, and number and ages of children. Prior studies also consistently regard working mothers as secondary earners rather than as necessary breadwinners.