Measured inequality has increased tremendously between the
1960s and 1990s, not only in the United States but throughout
the majority of industrial nations. Wages among people of the
same race and gender have become less equal. The hours worked
by men have fallen, and the drop has been more pronounced among
those who earn lower wages—as a result, inequality in
labor income, which is the product of the wage rate and hours
worked, has increased relative to inequality in wage rates.
Moreover, among married couples, employment of the
wives of high-income men has increased until these wives are
approximately as likely to be employed outside the home as are
the wives of low-income men, who have always worked for wages.
In addition, due to assortative mating, wage rates of husbands
and wives are positively correlated, and it is clear that the
growth in inequality of labor incomes among families has
outstripped the growth in inequality in individual labor
income. Finally, only the highest-income families have savings
in excess of home equity and company-sponsored pensions, which
implies that inequality in wealth among families has been exacerbated
by the growth in stock prices.