Whose Money, Whose Time? A Nonparametric Approach to Modeling Time Spent on Housework
AbstractWe argue that earlier quantitative research on the relationship between heterosexual partners’ earnings and time spent on housework has two basic flaws. First, it has focused on the effects of women’s shares of couples’ total earnings on their housework, and has not considered the simpler possibility of an association between women’s absolute earnings and housework. Consequently it has relied on unsupported theoretical restrictions in the modeling. We adopt a flexible, nonparametric approach that does not impose the polynomial specifications on the data that characterize the two dominant models of the relationship between earnings and housework, the “economic exchange” and “gender display” hypotheses. Our nonparametric model allows the relationships among earnings shares, earnings, and time spent on housework to emerge from the data. A second problem with earlier studies is that they have tended to draw uniform inferences across the range of data, including regions where the data are sparse. This has led to interpretations of parametric curves that are driven by these thinly populated regions, and that may not be robust across the data. By contrast, our study explicitly assesses the reliability of results obtained in such regions. Our results provide support for an alternative model that emphasizes the importance of partners’ own earnings for their housework, especially in the case of women. Women’s own earnings are negatively associated with their housework hours, independently of their partners’ earnings and their shares of couples’ total earnings, which do not matter.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics in its series UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers with number 2006-06.
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
housework; household economics; nonparametric regression; bargaining; gender;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
- 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-2006-06-10 (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.:
- Phipps, S.A. & Burton, P.S., 1992.
"What's Mine is Yours?: The Influence of Male and Female Incomes on Patterns of Household Expenditure,"
Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive
92-12, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
- Phipps, Shelley A & Burton, Peter S, 1998. "What's Mine Is Yours? The Influence of Male and Female Incomes on Patterns of Household Expenditure," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(260), pages 599-613, November.
- Soberon-Ferrer, Horacio & Dardis, Rachel, 1991. " Determinants of Household Expenditures for Services," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(4), pages 385-97, March.
- Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994.
"Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit,"
94-6, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
- Lundberg, S.J. & Pollak, R.A. & Wales, T.J., 1994. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from U.K. Child Benefit," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 94-6, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
- Shelly J. Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak & Terence J. Wales, 1997. "Do Husbands and Wives Pool Their Resources? Evidence from the United Kingdom Child Benefit," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 463-480.
- Thomas, D., 1989.
"Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach,"
586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
- Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Saunders).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.