Abstract Using data from the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study, this paper compares the partners of economically successful women with those of women who have fared less well on the labor market. Economic success is measured as belonging to the top ten percent income bracket of the female sample. First, socioeconomic and cultural homogamy/asymmetry are investigated. With respect to education, homogamy is the dominant pattern. Income asymmetry, where husbands contribute most to the household income, characterizes the majority of couples, particularly in the older age groups. Gender asymmetry in cultural resources is predominant, with women having more modern gender role attitudes than men. Second, hypotheses derived from social capital theory and companionate theory are tested to examine how socioeconomic and cultural characteristics of male partners are related to women’s economic success. Economically successful women tend to have high-income men, suggesting an accumulation of favorable resources. A larger share of the male partner in carrying out household tasks is positively related to a woman’s success. Men’s supportive behavior rather than their attitudes contribute to their wives’ economic success.

Gedrag & Maatschappij, Sociale verandering, sociale processen en sociale conflicten, Sociologie, Sociology
dx.doi.org/10.4471/generos.2012.08, hdl.handle.net/1765/39137
Géneros: Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies
Includes Accepted Author Manuscript
Department of Sociology

Komter, A.E, Keizer, R, & Dykstra, P.A. (2012). The men behind economically successful women: A focus on Dutch dual-earner couples. Géneros: Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies, 1(2), 156–187. doi:10.4471/generos.2012.08