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Total Work and Gender: Facts and Possible Explanations

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  • Michael Burda
  • Daniel S. Hamermesh
  • Philippe Weil

Abstract

Time-diary data from 27 countries show a negative relationship between real GDP per capita and female-male differences in total work time—work for pay and work at home. In rich non-Catholic countries on four continents men and women do about the same average amount of total work. Survey results demonstrate, however, that labor economists, macroeconomists, sociologists and the general public believe that women work more. The widespread average equality does not arise from gender differences in the price of time, from intra-family bargaining or from spousal complementarity. Several theories, including ones based on social norms, might explain these findings and are consistent with cross-national evidence from the World Values Surveys and sets of microeconomic data from Australia and Germany.

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File URL: http://sfb649.wiwi.hu-berlin.de/papers/pdf/SFB649DP2012-007.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2012-007.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hum:wpaper:sfb649dp2012-007

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Keywords: time use; gender differences; household production; paid work;

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References

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  1. Burda, Michael C & Hamermesh, Daniel S & Weil, Philippe, 2007. "Total Work, Gender and Social Norms," CEPR Discussion Papers 6232, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2002. "Engines of Liberation," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 2, Economie d'Avant Garde.
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  8. Graziella Bertocchi, 2008. "The Enfranchisement of Women and the Welfare State," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 018, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics.
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  14. Borjas, George J, 1992. "Ethnic Capital and Intergenerational Mobility," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 123-50, February.
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  16. Lindbeck, Assar & Nyberg, Sten & Weibull, Jörgen W., 1997. "Social Norms and Economic Incentives in the Welfare State," Working Paper Series 476, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Vivien Procher & Nolan Ritter & Colin Vance, 2014. "Making Dough or Baking Dough? Spousal Housework Responsibilities in Germany, 1992-2011," Ruhr Economic Papers 0472, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
  2. Daniel Hamermesh & Stephen Trejo, 2013. "How do immigrants spend their time? The process of assimilation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 507-530, April.
  3. L. Rachel Ngai & Barbara Petrongolo, 2013. "Gender Gaps and the Rise of the Service Economy," CEP Discussion Papers dp1204, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Vivien Procher & Nolan Ritter & Colin Vance, 2014. "Making dough or baking dough? Spousal housework responsibilities in Germany, 1992-2011," Schumpeter Discussion Papers SDP14004, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
  5. Kawaguchi, Daiji & Lee, Jungmin & Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2013. "A gift of time," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 205-216.
  6. L. Rachel Ngai & Barbara Petrongolo, 2013. "Gender gaps and the rise of the service economy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51538, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Robert A. Pollak, 2013. "Allocating Household Time: When Does Efficiency Imply Specialization?," NBER Working Papers 19178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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