Monday, December 14, 2009

Gender wage discrimination starts early

The BBC report the results of the 2009 Halifax Pocket Money Survey. Halifax have been carrying out the survey since 1987 and have found that over that time pocket money has increased by more than four times the rate of inflation. Halifax are most interested in the savings behaviour shown but there are some other interesting findings.

The UK average pocket money for 2009 is £6.24 a week which is an 11p or 1.8% increase on the 2008 figure but is still substantially below the 2005 high of £8.37 a week. The UK's Office of National Statistics combined the Halifax survey with their own data to create the following graph.

Children with family incomes in the highest income decile received the biggest amount of pocket money. Interestingly, the next highest recipients were children whose family incomes were in the lowest income decile. The data do not allow us to determine if pocket money is a substitute for or additional to other expenditure by parents across the income deciles.

The higher than inflation increases in pocket money have not been evenly distributed with those in the 8-11 age group getting an average of £4.80 a week in 2009 which is some 425% above the 1987 figure of £1.13 reported here. Those in the 12-15 age bracket are getting the higher amount of £7.44 a week but this is "only" some 215% higher than the £3.46 their counterparts from 1987 were receiving. The survey also reports big regional variations across the country but one of the more standout findings is that:

Across the country, boys received an average of £6.88, compared with girls' £5.58.

This difference of £1.30 per week equates to a pocket money differential of about 23%. Gender wage discrimination, it seems, starts early!

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