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Social norms and household time allocation

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  • Fernandez, Cristina

    ()
    (IESE Business School)

  • Sevilla-Sanz, Almudena

    (University of Essex)

Abstract

Economic theories of the household predict that increases in female relative human capital lead to decreases in female housework time. However, longitudinal and cross-sectional evidence seems to contradict this implication. Women's share of home time fails to decrease despite increases in women's relative earnings. The literature has proposed social norms on the household division of labor as an alternative explanation. We use the 2002-2003 Spanish Time Use Survey (STUS) to explore the presence of social norms associated with the household division of housework and childcare. First, we observe that wives who earn more than their husbands still do more than 50% of the housework and childcare. Second, we find that a woman's relative share of housework decreases as her relative earnings increase, but only up to the point where she earns the same as her husband. Finally, independently of the definition of childcare, the relative time devoted to childcare does not vary with spouses' relative earnings. All these findings suggest that social norms may be an important factor in the division of household time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IESE Business School in its series IESE Research Papers with number D/648.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 11 Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0648

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Postal: IESE Business School, Av Pearson 21, 08034 Barcelona, SPAIN
Web page: http://www.iese.edu/
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Keywords: Household production; intrahousehold allocation; time allocation; social norms;

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  9. Angel De La Fuente & Juan Francisco Jimeno, 2004. "The private and fiscal returns to schooling and the effect of public policies on private incentives to invest in education: a general framework and some results for the EU," Working Papers 152, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  10. Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Household bargaining over fertility: Theory and evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 215-241, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Maria Gutiérrez-Domènech, 2010. "Parental employment and time with children in Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 371-391, September.
  2. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Sara de la Rica, 2009. "The timing of work and work-family conflicts in Spain sho has a split work schedule and why?," Working Papers 2009-35, FEDEA.
  3. Boll, Christina & Leppin, Julian Sebastian & Reich, Nora, 2011. "Einfluss der Elternzeit von Vätern auf die familiale Arbeitsteilung im internationalen Vergleich," HWWI Policy Papers 59, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
  4. James Feyrer & Bruce Sacerdote & Ariel Dora Stern, 2008. "Will the Stork Return to Europe and Japan? Understanding Fertility within Developed Nations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  5. Bernarda Zamora, 2011. "Does female participation affect the sharing rule?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 47-83, January.
  6. repec:ese:iserwp:2008-03 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Leilanie Basilio, 2009. "Deciding Who Works Where – An Analysis of the Distribution of Work within Native and Immigrant Families in Australia," Ruhr Economic Papers 0125, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  8. María Suárez, 2013. "Working mothers’ decisions on childcare: the case of Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 545-561, December.

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