IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

What Is The Effect Of Housework On The Market Wage, And Can It Explain The Gender Wage Gap?


  • Sholeh A. Maani
  • Amy A. Cruickshank


Does housework reduce the market wage, and if so, does it have a similar impact for males and females? In this paper, we survey and evaluate the recent and growing empirical literature on the linkages between housework and the wage rate. The review is motivated by unexplained gender wage gaps across studies, which consider personal and market-related factors. We focus on this less-studied aspect of wage determination. We consider the required modelling framework, and provide standardized estimated effects of housework on the hourly wage across studies. We evaluate how this literature has addressed potential estimation problems, in particular, the endogeneity of housework, concavity of the housework-wage function, threshold effects and work effort effects. We conclude that the evidence across ordinary least squares, instrumental variable, fixed effects and two-stage least squares results casts serious doubt on the idea that the negative female housework-wage relationship is only driven by endogeneity bias or individual-specific characteristics. Yet, much more needs to be done to address modelling and data requirements, and we point out likely and promising future research directions. Copyright © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Sholeh A. Maani & Amy A. Cruickshank, 2010. "What Is The Effect Of Housework On The Market Wage, And Can It Explain The Gender Wage Gap?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(3), pages 402-427, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:24:y:2010:i:3:p:402-427

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    2. Roberto Basile & Anna Giunta & Jeffrey Nugent, 2003. "Foreign Expansion by Italian Manufacturing Firms in the Nineties: an Ordered Probit Analysis," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 23(1), pages 1-24, August.
    3. Trinh Le & John Gibson & Les Oxley, 2003. "Cost- and Income-based Measures of Human Capital," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 271-307, July.
    4. Antonietti Roberto, 2007. "Opening the "Skill-Biased Technological Change" Black Box: A Look at the Microfoundations of the Technology-Skill Relationship," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 451-476.
    5. Statistics Canada, 1995. "Technology Use, Training and Plant-specific Knowledge in Manufacturing Establishments," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995086e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. Heinz Hollenstein & Tobias Stucki, 2008. "The Impact of ICT Usage, Workplace Organisation and Human Capital on the Provision of Apprenticeship Training: A firm-level analysis based on Swiss panel data," KOF Working papers 08-205, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    7. Giuseppe Folloni & Giorgio Vittadini, 2010. "Human Capital Measurement: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 248-279, April.
    8. Ludger Woszmann, 2003. "Specifying Human Capital," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 239-270, July.
    9. Agarwal, Rajshree & Audretsch, David B, 2001. "Does Entry Size Matter? The Impact of the Life Cycle and Technology on Firm Survival," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(1), pages 21-43, March.
    10. Statistics Canada, 1995. "Human Capital Development and Innovation: The Case of Training in Small and Medium Sized Firms," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995074e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    11. Bassanini, Andrea & Booth, Alison L. & Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Leuven, Edwin, 2005. "Workplace Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:zbw:rwirep:0472 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Procher, Vivien & Ritter, Nolan & Vance, Colin, 2014. "Making Dough or Baking Dough? Spousal Housework Responsibilities in Germany, 1992-2011," Ruhr Economic Papers 472, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Tamar Khitarishvili, 2018. "Gender Pay Gaps in the Former Soviet Union: A Review of the Evidence," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_899, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. Vivien Procher & Nolan Ritter & Colin Vance, 2014. "Making Dough or Baking Dough? Spousal Housework Responsibilities in Germany, 1992-2011," Ruhr Economic Papers 0472, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    5. Tamar Khitarishvili, 2016. "Two tales of contraction: gender wage gap in Georgia before and after the 2008 crisis," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, December.
    6. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano, 2015. "Gender equality and economic growth in Brazil: A long-run analysis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 155-172.
    7. Halldén, Karin & Stenberg, Anders, 2013. "The Relationship between Hours of Domestic Services and Female Earnings: Panel Register Data Evidence from a Reform," Working Paper Series 4/2013, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    8. Pagán, Ricardo, 2013. "Time allocation of disabled individuals," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 80-93.
    9. Thorsten Konietzko, 2015. "Self-Employed Individuals, Time Use, and Earnings," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 64-83, March.
    10. Liangshu Qi & Xiao-Yuan Dong, 2013. "Housework Burdens, Quality of Market Work Time, and Men’s and Women’s Earnings in China," Departmental Working Papers 2013-01, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:24:y:2010:i:3:p:402-427. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.