Nancy Folbre & Kristin Smith on The Wages of Care: Bargaining Power, Earnings & Inequality

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by Nancy Folbre & Kristin Smith

From the abstract:

The uneven bargaining power of both firms and workers may be contributing to increased earnings inequality in the U.S. Econometric analysis of earnings from the 2015 Current Population Survey shows that the earnings of managers and professionals employed in care industries (health, education, and social services), characterized by high levels of public and non-­profit provision, are significantly lower than in other industries. Overall, earnings in care industries are more compressed, with lower ratios of earnings at the 90th percentile to those at the 50th and 10th percentiles. The specific features of care work, including moral commitments, the difficulty of capturing added value, and the importance of teamwork help explain these patterns.

Read full paper here