The Role of Preferences and Opportunity Costs in Determining the Time Allocated to Housework
AbstractThe time devoted to housework in couple households is substantial. Research on intrahousehold time allocations has generally assumed that housework is a necessary evil and that the partner with the lower opportunity cost of time in the market will devote more time to home production. In reality, households/individuals are likely motivated to maximize happiness, and preferences regarding even mundane household chores differ considerably. We use information on preferences, opportunity costs, and time use from the 2000-2001 United Kingdom Time Use Survey to examine the time partners spend doing laundry, ironing, cleaning, and food shopping. While compared with other household chores such as gardening and do-it-yourself repairs, the selected activities are generally less enjoyable, preferences do vary across the population and are correlated with reported time use. Joint multivariate analysis of his and her time on weekend and weekday days as well as maid service reveals that her opportunity cost of time matters substantially more than his, but that his preferences play a greater role than hers.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6436.
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2012, 102(3), 606-611
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Other versions of this item:
- Leslie S. Stratton, 2012. "The Role of Preferences and Opportunity Costs in Determining the Time Allocated to Housework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 606-11, May.
- D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-04-03 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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Economics Working Paper Archive
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