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Gender Norms and Relative Working Hours: Why Do Women Suffer More Than Men from Working Longer Hours Than Their Partners?

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Listed:
  • Sarah Fleche
  • Anthony Lepinteur
  • Nattavudh Powdthavee

Abstract

Constraints that prevent women from working longer hours are argued to be important drivers of the gender wage gap in the United States. We provide evidence that in couples where the wife's working hours exceed the husband's, the wife reports lower life satisfaction. By contrast, there is no effect on the husband's satisfaction. The results still hold when controlling for relative income. We argue that these patterns are best explained by perceived fairness of the division of household labor, which induces an aversion to a situation where the wife works more at home and on the labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Fleche & Anthony Lepinteur & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2018. "Gender Norms and Relative Working Hours: Why Do Women Suffer More Than Men from Working Longer Hours Than Their Partners?," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 108, pages 163-168, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:apandp:v:108:y:2018:p:163-68
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20181098
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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