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Gender inequalities in pension income : the case of England and Spain.

Martinez Cruz, Eva (2020) Gender inequalities in pension income : the case of England and Spain. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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This thesis explores gender role differences as indicators of inequalities in pension income, using the cases of England and Spain. It contains several layers of comparison both through using these two nations, but also by exploring birth cohort differences between those born before and after 1939, in order to better understand how context influences pension income inequalities between men and women. The main research strategy in this thesis has been a quantitative approach, adopted to provide a robust within-country analysis in England and Spain. The cross-country comparison on the other hand, adopts a qualitative dimension, where the aim is not to directly quantify the differences between the two countries, but to provide an indirect comparison that embeds the quantitative results obtained from the within-country analysis in a comprehensive contextual analysis of gender differences in pension income in the two countries. For the quantitative analysis, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) has been used for England, and the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) for Spain, using retrospective and cross-sectional data in both datasets. The aim of doing a cross-national comparison from a qualitative perspective instead, has been to obtain a deeper understanding of gender inequalities in pension income considering more critically their cultural, institutional and historical contexts. This combined approach provides a robust understanding of how personal circumstances across the lifecourse impact gender differences in pension income in each country. It also critically assesses the role of a complex set of different contextual factors in measuring differences in pension income between men and women, delivering a detailed cross-country discussion. Gender inequalities in pension income are a complex issue, which are interlinked to both micro and macro factors. In this thesis, context plays a central role in understanding gender differences in pension income. However, despite differences in the mechanisms by which current (2010-12) retired women have become disadvantaged with regards to pension income in England and Spain, the result is similar. The gender pension income gap is a problem in both England and Spain. This is higher in England than in Spain, although in Spain access to pension income is more of an issue, mostly for women, at least for the current (2010-12) generation of retirees. Women in both countries have been penalised by their respective pension systems, for not meeting or only partially meeting pension requirements. Policies imposed by governmental institutions, in particular in areas such as employment or family, have in some cases stopped women from meeting these pension requirements. The political institutions and systems of England and Spain as well as their labour markets cannot be the only factors blamed for pension income differences however. Specific lifestyles framed in traditional gender roles and family culture, are another key factors in explaining these differences.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Martinez Cruz, Eva
Date : 31 July 2020
Funders : Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00858032
Contributors :
Depositing User : Eva Martinez Cruz
Date Deposited : 29 Jul 2020 15:25
Last Modified : 29 Jul 2020 15:25

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