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Intrahousehold Specialization in Housework in the United States and Denmark

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Author Info

  • Bonke, Jens

    ()
    (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit)

  • Deding, Mette

    ()
    (SFI - Danish National Centre for Social Research)

  • Lausten, Mette

    ()
    (SFI - Danish National Centre for Social Research)

  • Stratton, Leslie S.

    ()
    (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Abstract

Objective: Focusing on housework activities, we construct a gender neutral composite index measure of intrahousehold specialization. We hypothesize that the degree of specialization is influenced by economic notions of efficiency, as well as by time constraints and egalitarian values. Methods: Employing time use data on US and Danish couples, we model specialization using a multivariate two-limit Tobit. Results: We analyze the comparability of reported time use and our specialization index using different types of data. We find evidence that Danish households specialize less than American households and postulate that this cross-national difference is a result of the more egalitarian family culture within Scandinavia. A finding that children are associated with significantly increased specialization in the US but not in Denmark is attributed to the subsidized childcare services provided by the Danish welfare system. Conclusion: Intrahousehold specialization in housework varies with economic circumstances, time constraints, and social values.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2777.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Social Science Quarterly, 2008, 89 (4), 1023-1043
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2777

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Keywords: housework; specialization; time use;

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References

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  1. Jens Bonke, 2005. "Paid Work and Unpaid Work: Diary Information Versus Questionnaire Information," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 70(3), pages 349-368, 02.
  2. Hersch, Joni & Stratton, Leslie S, 1994. "Housework, Wages, and the Division of Housework Time for Employed Spouses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 120-25, May.
  3. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-11 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Maria Sagrario Floro & Marjorie Miles, 2003. "Time use, work and overlapping activities: evidence from Australia," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(6), pages 881-904, November.
  5. Michael Bittman & Paula England & Nancy Folbre & George Matheson, 2001. "When Gender Trumps Money: Bargaining and Time in Household Work," JCPR Working Papers 221, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  6. Katharine G. Abraham & Aaron Maitland & Suzanne M. Bianchi, 2006. "Non-response in the American Time Use Survey: Who Is Missing from the Data and How Much Does It Matter?," NBER Technical Working Papers 0328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ragni Kitterød, 2001. "Does the recording of parallel activities in Time Use Diaries affect the way people report their main activities?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 56(2), pages 145-178, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Elena Stancanelli & Hans Bloemen & Silvia Pasqua, 2008. "An Empirical Analysis of the Time Allocation of Italian Couples: Are Italian Men Irresponsive?," Sciences Po publications 2008-111/3, Sciences Po.
  2. Robert A. Pollak, 2013. "Allocating Household Time: When Does Efficiency Imply Specialization?," NBER Working Papers 19178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Giannelli, Gianna Claudia & Mangiavacchi, Lucia & Piccoli, Luca, 2010. "GDP and the Value of Family Caretaking: How Much Does Europe Care?," IZA Discussion Papers 5046, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Hans Bloemen & Elena Stancanelli, 2014. "Market hours, household work, child care, and wage rates of partners: an empirical analysis," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-81, March.
  5. Francesca Francavilla, & Gianna Claudia Giannelli & Gabriela Grotkowska & Mieczyslaw W. Socha, 2011. "Use of Time and Value of Unpaid Family Care Work: a Comparison between Italy and Poland," Working Papers - Economics wp2011_03.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  6. Lisa Giddings & John Nunley & Alyssa Schneebaum & Joachim Zietz, 2014. "Birth Cohort and the Specialization Gap Between Same-Sex and Different-Sex Couples," Demography, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 509-534, April.
  7. Wencke Gwozdz & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2010. "Explaining Gender Differences in Housework Time in Germany," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 183-200, June.
  8. Katharina Mader & Alyssa Schneebaum, 2013. "Zur geschlechtsspezifischen Intrahaushaltsverteilung von Entscheidungsmacht in Europa," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 39(3), pages 361-403.
  9. repec:dgr:uvatin:2008111 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Nottmeyer, Olga, 2011. "Couple's Relative Labor Supply in Intermarriage," IZA Discussion Papers 5567, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Alyssa Schneebaum & Katharina Mader, 2013. "The gendered nature of intra-household decision making in and across Europe," Department of Economics Working Papers wuwp157, Vienna University of Economics, Department of Economics.
  12. Anne Winkler & Thomas Ireland, 2009. "Time Spent in Household Management: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 293-304, September.
  13. Stancanelli, Elena G. F. & Stratton, Leslie S., 2010. "Her Time, His Time, or the Maid's Time: An Analysis of the Demand for Domestic Work," IZA Discussion Papers 5253, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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