March 12, 2012 6:16 PM

The Careerist: The Rich Husband

Posted by Vivia Chen

I’ll get into trouble for airing this one. Many women would rather bury the topic.

But if we’re sitting in a nice restaurant, downing our second or third cocktail, at some point one of us will say: “If I hear from another woman that it no longer makes sense for her to keep working and pay the babysitter, I will strangle her.”

What’s the verboten topic? Some women dump their jobs because their husbands are making a boatload of money.

And I mean a big boat. We’re not talking about the 1 percenters (that would only be $368,238), but more like the 0.01 percenters—in the seven digit range. In the rarefied circles of Manhattan where private school tuition now exceeds $40,000, it would be tough for a family to cut it as a 1 percenter.

I know it seems like a caricature—that expensively educated women would retreat to the role of housewife (actually, penthousewife) as soon as their hubbies hit the jackpot.

That phenomenon is not just anecdotal. In a forth coming study, Stefania Albanesi, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, says well-educated women are throwing in the towel because their husbands dramatically out-earn them.

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