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Couples' Time Together: Complementarities in Production versus Complementarities in Consumption

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  • Mansour, Hani

    ()
    (University of Colorado Denver)

  • McKinnish, Terra

    ()
    (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Abstract

Economists have previously suggested that gains from marriage can be generated by complementarities in production (gains from specialization and exchange) or by complementarities in consumption (gains from joint consumption of household public goods and joint time consumption). This paper uses the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) from 2003-2011 to test whether couples that engage in less specialization (are more similar in hours of market work) spend more time together. We find that among married couples without young children, those with a greater difference in weekly hours of work between husband and wife spend less time together on non-working weekend days. Importantly, we find that this relationship is quite symmetric between couples in which the husband works greater hours and couples in which the wife works greater hours. We do not find evidence of a relationship between specialization and couple time together among couples with young children.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7848.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in the Journal of Population Economics, Vol. 27, 1127-1144, 2014.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7848

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Keywords: time use; home production; joint consumption;

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  1. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2000. "Timing, Togetherness and Time Windfalls," IZA Discussion Papers, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) 173, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 6144, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Melinda Sandler Morrill & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2012. "What Effects do Macroeconomic Conditions Have on Families' Time Together?," Working Papers, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 454, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  4. Shelly Lundberg, 2010. "Personality and Marital Surplus," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) 307, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2005. "Data Watch: The American Time Use Survey," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 221-232, Winter.
  6. David Lam, 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 462-487.
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