Female family breadwinners are progressively earning more than their husbands, but neither seem inclined to admit it, a new report suggests.
New research from the U.S. Census Bureau compared the earnings between husbands and wives in the current population. It found that men and women both lie about their salaries when wives earn more.
The responses to the survey were compared to actual IRS income-tax records and established consistent discrepancies between the reported incomes. The Census experts attributed “social desirability concerns” to the disparities.
When wives earned more, husbands were found to inflate their earnings by 2.9 percentage points. But the wives were also found to deflate their own salaries by 1.9 percentage points if they earned more.
The report also found that wives were more inclined to exaggerate their husband’s income more than men. While husbands devalued their wives’ income more than the women themselves.
The percentage of women earning more than their husbands has grown in recent decades. Twenty-eight percent of wives earned more than their husband last year as compared to 18 percent in 1987.