[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
89°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 26
1956 - Placerita Canyon State Park dedicated [story]
Oak of the Golden Dream


By Misty Heggeness

When wives earn more than their husbands, a puzzling thing can happen: Husbands say they earn more than they are and wives underreport their income.

New Census Bureau research shows that the incomes couples report on Census Bureau surveys do not always match their IRS filings. The Census Bureau is working to improve the quality of reported earnings by comparing an individual’s survey response with their reported response from another source.

“Wage and earnings data underlie a majority of federal statistics on income, inequality and poverty, and are critical for understanding the pulse of the nation and overall well-being of individuals in society,” said Bruce Meyer, an economist at the Census Bureau and McCormick Foundation Professor at the University of Chicago Harris Public Policy School.

Social Norms Shape Answers
According to this research, societal expectations about the roles played in married-couple relationships may be a factor in what people report for their earnings. Social norms can drive expectations and behavior, including how we report information about ourselves to others.

“We made a critical finding that adds to the understanding of gender norms and the quality of income statistics, in particular, wage gaps among different-sex married couples,” said Marta Murray-Close, an economist at the Census Bureau and co-author of the study.

Researchers used survey responses from the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement. They found that when wives earn more than their husbands, husbands report earnings that are 2.9 percentage points higher when they respond to surveys compared to what’s in their tax filings.

Who Really Earns More?
Take a husband in Fargo, N.D., who lives in a household where the wife earns more. If he reported annual earnings of $30,000, he would tell the Census Bureau he earned more — an average $30,870 during that same year. That’s $870 more than his earnings as reported by his employer(s).

The gap is 1.5 percentage points lower for wives who make more than their husbands.

Let us say, for example, that the same man’s wife earns $40,000. On average, her reported earnings would be equivalent to $39,400, around $600 less than she actually earned. The overall impact on family earnings for this household is about $300 more than their employer-reported earnings.

Different Answers From Husbands And Wives
Does it matter whether the husband or wife responds to the survey? The answer is yes.

We analyzed survey reported earnings based on whether the response came directly from the survey respondent or a proxy, such as their spouse answering the question for them.

When a wife earns more, both husbands and wives exaggerate the husband’s earnings and diminish the wife’s. But, husbands overstate their own earnings less than wives do, and wives devalue their own earnings less than husbands do.

In other words, survey reports of earnings are more heavily influenced by gender norms when earnings are reported by a person’s spouse.

How Society Influences Earnings Data
These differences can impact our understanding of national statistics on income, inequality and poverty. In this analytical sample, around 1 in 4 couples (22.9 percent) live in nontraditional marriages where the wife earns more than the husband does.

As nontraditional marriages become more common, self-reported earnings data could become less reliable if individuals continue to be influenced by social norms in their reporting.

The findings demonstrate the importance of understanding societal norms and their influence on data collection and survey responses. Using alternative sources of data helps confirm the accuracy of surveys.

The world of big data and administrative records is becoming more important. The research also provides evidence that building systems and structures that rely on alternative data sources and mechanisms — rather than just self-reported survey responses — should continue.

Misty Heggeness is Senior Advisor for Evaluations & Experiments in Research and Methodology at the Census Bureau.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Eclipse Theatre is a new nonprofit to Santa Clarita that has brought local actors and creators together virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic to entertain the community with Greek-themed parodies and sketches.
New Nonprofit ‘Eclipse Theatre’ Bringing the Entertainment with Greek-Themed Parodies, Sketches
College of the Canyons sophomore Ryan Crema has committed to the University of Redlands, becoming the fourth member of the Cougars' 2020 men's golf team to move on to a four-year program.
COC Golfer Ryan Crema Commits to University of Redlands
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a Heat Alert as high temperatures (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) have been forecast for the Santa Clarita Valley through Thursday, May 28.
Heat Alert Issued for SCV
Dust off your disc, breathe in the fresh air and get ready for a new competition from the city of Santa Clarita’s Adult Sports Office.
Virtual Disc Golf League Coming to Santa Clarita
Join the Valley Industry Association (VIA) for a virtual event Tuesday, June 16, at 11:00 a.m. for a discussion on Proposition 13.
June 16: VIA Virtual Meeting to Discuss Proposition 13
The city of Santa Clarita is once again accepting names to be included as part of the 2020 addition to the Youth Grove memorial in Central Park, located at 27150 Bouquet Canyon Road.
Submissions for 2020 Youth Grove Additions Now Being Accepted
1956 - Placerita Canyon State Park dedicated [story]
Oak of the Golden Dream
The California Department of Public Health on Monday announced the statewide reopening of places of worship for religious services and in-store retail shopping.
California OK’s Counties to Reopen Places of Worship, Retail Stores
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Monday 1,047 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 new deaths due to the virus countywide, with 33 new cases and a total of 1,114 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 1,114 Cases in SCV, 94,558 Statewide
It was less than six months ago that cameras were rolling in the SCV, but it seems like much, much longer.
When the Cameras Can Start Rolling Again in SCV
At its next meeting Tuesday, May 26, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will take action on a motion asking the county to begin planning immediately to prepare for the transition of youth who would have been committed to the state youth prison system, to instead be in the county’s care.
L.A. County Preps for Closure of State Youth Prison System
My dad was a disabled World War II veteran in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Rarely did he discuss the war, which was common for many who served.
Dad’s Limp | Doctor’s Diary with Dr. Gene Dorio
An endless stream of seniors drove reverently through the Bella Vida Senior Center Lunch Drive-Thru during Friday’s Memorial Day ceremony.
Bella Vida, SCV Seniors Salute Memorial Day 2020
Governor Gavin Newsom laid a wreath at a veterans home Friday and issued a proclamation on Saturday declaring Monday, May 25, 2020, as “Memorial Day” in the State of California.
Newsom Lays Wreath at Veterans Home, Declares May 25 ‘Memorial Day’
The largest study so far on using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 was published Friday in the Lancet: It found that patients showed no benefit and, worse, were more likely to die or develop an irregular heartbeat.
Biggest Study to Date Says Virus Deaths Spiked With Use of Hydroxychloroquine
In the ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday launched California Connected, the state’s comprehensive contact tracing program and public awareness campaign.
Newsom Launches ‘California Connected’ COVID-19 Contact Tracing Program
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will conduct a bicycle and pedestrian safety enforcement operation in the Santa Clarita area on Wednesday, May 27, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
May 27: LASD Bike, Pedestrian Safety Enforcement Push in SCV
1966 - Mustang Drive-In theater opens on Soledad Canyon Road [story]
Mustang Drive-In
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Sunday 940 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 new deaths due to the virus countywide, with a total of 1,081 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began.
Sunday COVID-19 Roundup: 1,081 Cases in SCV, 92,710 Statewide
Richard Keysor, the 1989 Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year, died at his home in Santa Clarita on May 20. He was 91.
Richard Keysor, 1989 SCV Man of Year, Dies at 91
Science progresses in incremental steps. How long did it take to realize Earth was not the center of the universe, or what goes up must come down? Science is slow, like watching molasses flow or grass grow.
The Magic Pill | Doctor’s Diary with Dr. Gene Dorio
1860 - Colonel Thomas F. Mitchell arrives in Soledad Canyon [story]
T.F. Mitchell
Lawrence Russell was already running when he received the ball with 4.8 seconds remaining in the first round of the 2018 NAIA national tournament.
Former Mustang Lawrence Russell Inks Deal to Play Professional Ball in Canada
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Saturday 1,032 new cases of COVID-19 and 41 new deaths due to the virus countywide, with a total of 1,063 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began.
Saturday COVID-19 Roundup: 1,063 SCV Cases, 90,631 Statewide
%d bloggers like this: