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Gender Roles and the Division of Unpaid Work in Spanish Households


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  • Almudena Sevilla-Sanz
  • Jose Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal
  • Cristina Fernandez


This paper examines the role of the doing-gender hypothesis versus traditional models of the household in explaining how the woman's share of home labor varies with relative earnings. The findings, using the 2002-3 Spanish Time Use Survey (STUS; Spanish Statistical Office 2003), support the doing-gender hypothesis in the case of housework: a woman's relative share of housework fails to decrease with her relative earnings beyond the point where her earnings are the same as her husband's. In contrast, a woman's share of childcare time displays a flat pattern over the distribution of her spouse's relative earnings. This last result is neither consistent with traditional theories of the household, nor with the doing-gender hypothesis. It can, however, still be interpreted in light of social norms, whereby women specialize in this type of caring activity regardless of their relative productivity or bargaining power.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 137-184

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Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:16:y:2010:i:4:p:137-184

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Related research

Keywords: Household production; childcare; doing-gender hypothesis; social norms; household specialization; household bargaining;


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Blog mentions

As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Nada es gratis� ¿excepto el amor de madre?, por Almudena Sevilla Sanz
    by Samuel Bentolila in Nada Es Gratis on 2011-09-14 05:00:23
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Cited by:
  1. J. Gimenez-Nadal & Jose Molina, 2013. "Parents’ education as a determinant of educational childcare time," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 719-749, April.
  2. Begoña Álvarez & Daniel Miles-Touya, 2012. "Exploring the relationship between parents’ and children’s housework time in Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 299-318, June.
  3. Jonathan Gershuny & Oriel Sullivan, 2014. "Household structure and housework: assessing the contributions of all household members, with a focus on children and youths," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 7-27, March.


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