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Women, Men and Housework Time Allocation: Theory and Empirical Results

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  • Lauk, Martina
  • Meyer, Susanne

Abstract

The gender relationship, characterised to a high degree by the gender-specific division of labour into paid work and housework, is in the process of change. In Germany, however, housework continues to be considered a typically female chore. The present study considers the empirical relevance of three theoretical approaches to gender-specific time allocation from the economic and social sciences. The various models are assessed using the Socioeconomic Panel (SOEP) for the year 2000. The estimation results imply that no single theory can be favoured as opposed to any other. Accordingly, prevalent approaches to the explanation of household division of labour are at the same time equally suited and unsuited to grasping the problem empirically. A person's individual housework time is determined by both economic and ideological characteristics. Following on from the evaluation of different theories, an approach is evaluated which simultaneously takes individual work time and paid work time into account. This integrative evaluation shows that the economic rational choice model finds only limited application in the area of private households, thus pointing to the necessity for an interdisciplinary treatment of the subject.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Darmstadt Technical University, Department of Business Administration, Economics and Law, Institute of Economics (VWL) in its series Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics with number 37209.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Publication status: Published in Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics . 143 (2005-02)
Handle: RePEc:dar:ddpeco:37209

Note: for complete metadata visit http://tubiblio.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/37209/
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Related research

Keywords: time allocation; household division of labour; SOEP data;

References

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  1. Martin Browning & Pierre-Andre Chiappori, 1994. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: a General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Department of Economics Working Papers 1994-02, McMaster University.
  2. Patricia M. Anderson & Philip B. Levine, 1999. "Child Care and Mothers' Employment Decisions," NBER Working Papers 7058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert A. Pollak, 2002. "Gary Becker's Contributions to Family and Household Economics," NBER Working Papers 9232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Miriam Beblo & Elke Wolf, 2002. "Die Folgekosten von Erwerbsunterbrechungen," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 71(1), pages 83-94.
  5. Lauer, Charlotte, 2000. "Gender wage gap in West Germany: how far do gender differences in human capital matter?," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-07, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Thomas Aronsson & Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Magnus Wikström, 2001. "Estimating intrahousehold allocation in a collective model with household production," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 569-584.
  7. Barbara Bergmann, 1995. "Becker's theory of the family: Preposterous conclusions," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 141-150.
  8. Stigler, George J & Becker, Gary S, 1977. "De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 76-90, March.
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