Over the past generation, women’s participation in the workforce has risen dramatically. Women are earning more and contributing more to family income. As with men, women’s success in the labor market and ability to achieve the American Dream is linked to their family background.
This report, written by Julia Isaacs of the Brookings Institution, reviews overall income trends based on Census Bureau data and provides an intergenerational analysis based on a longitudinal data set that allows a direct match of the family income of parents in the late 1960s to their children’s family income in the late 1990s to early 2000s. It considers how men and women have fared economically over the past few decades and whether the transmission of economic advantage from parents to children differs for sons and daughters.