Summary Of: The Instability of Family Earnings and Family Income in Canada, 1986 to 1991 and 1996 to 2001
This article summarizes findings from the research paper entitled: The Instability of Family Earnings and Family Income in Canada, 1986 to 1991 and 1996 to 2001. Despite its implications for family well-being, little attention has been paid to the analysis of earnings instability in the context of the family versus the earnings profiles of individuals. While a focus on individuals is important, the extent to which families can generate stable income flows from the labour market is a key concern for policymakers. Therefore, using data from Statistics Canada's Longitudinal Administrative Databank (LAD), this study documents how family earnings instability has evolved between two six-year periods: 1986-1991 and 1996-2001. We also examine how husbands' earnings instability compares to couples' earnings instability, and we compute measures of instability based on family earnings, family market income, and family income before and after tax. This allows us to examine the extent to which wives' earnings reduce the volatility of husbands' employment income; the extent to which the tax and transfer system plays a stabilization role; and the extent to which wives' earnings, taxes, and transfers reduce the differences in instability between couples in the bottom of the earnings distribution and those in the top.
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