Wages of virtue: The relative pay of care work

Paula England, Michelle Budig, Nancy Folbre

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We examine the relative pay of occupations involving care, such as teaching, counseling, providing health services, or supervising children. We use panel data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth covering workers between 17 and 35 years of age. Care work pays less than other occupations after controlling for the education and employment experience of the workers, many occupation and industry characteristics, and (via individual fixed effects) unmeasured, stable characteristics of those who hold the jobs. Both men and women in care work pay this relative wage penalty. However, more women than men pay the penalty, since more women than men do this kind of work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-473
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Problems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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