Published: January 8, 2020

Kornrich, S., Ruppanner, L., & Lappegård, T. (2019). Spending on Children across Four Countries: Variation in the Role of Income and Women’s Labor Force Participation. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society.


Sabino Kornirich, Leah Ruppanner, and Trude Lappegård.


Scholars have recently documented inequalities in parents’ spending on children in the United States. This article situates these trends cross-nationally by using expenditure data from the United States, Australia, Spain, and Norway. The article investigates differences across countries in the links between household income, female labor force participation, and spending on children. The links between income, female labor force participation, and spending are largest in the United States and smallest in Norway, while Spain and Australia are intermediate cases, suggesting that public provision lessens inequalities in parental spending on children.