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The Intra-household Division of Labor: An Empirical Analysis of Spousal Influences on Individual Time Allocation


  • Julia Bredtmann


Using the German Time Use Surveys 1991/92 and 2001/02, this paper analyses the interactions between the time-use decisions of partners within one household. Thereby, an interdependent model of the partners' times allocated to paid and unpaid work that allows for simultaneity and endogeneity of the time allocation decisions of the spouses is applied. When including both weekdays and weekend days in the analysis, a complementary relationship between the partner's time allocations is found. When restricting the analysis to weekdays, however, men's time dedicated to paid and unpaid work is unaffected by their wives' time-use decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Bredtmann, 2014. "The Intra-household Division of Labor: An Empirical Analysis of Spousal Influences on Individual Time Allocation," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 28(1), pages 1-39, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:28:y:2014:i:1:p:1-39

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean Kimmel & Rachel Connelly, 2007. "Mothers’ Time Choices: Caregiving, Leisure, Home Production, and Paid Work," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
    2. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2002. "Timing, togetherness and time windfalls," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 601-623.
    3. Mette Deding & Mette Lausten, 2006. "Choosing between his time and her time? Paid and unpaid work of Danish couples," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 3(1), pages 28-48, August.
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    5. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
    6. Charlene Kalenkoski & David Ribar & Leslie Stratton, 2009. "The influence of wages on parents’ allocations of time to child care and market work in the United Kingdom," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 399-419, April.
    7. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-959, July.
    8. Gernandt, Johannes & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2008. "Wage Convergence and Inequality after Unification: (East) Germany in Transition," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-022, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. Hersch, Joni & Stratton, Leslie S, 1994. "Housework, Wages, and the Division of Housework Time for Employed Spouses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 120-125, May.
    10. Stewart, Jay, 2013. "Tobit or not Tobit?," Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, IOS Press, issue 3, pages 263-290.
    11. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-685, May.
    12. Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-844, September.
    13. Richard W. Blundell & Richard J. Smith, 1989. "Estimation in a Class of Simultaneous Equation Limited Dependent Variable Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(1), pages 37-57.
    14. Amemiya, Takeshi, 1978. "The Estimation of a Simultaneous Equation Generalized Probit Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1193-1205, September.
    15. McElroy, Marjorie B & Horney, Mary Jean, 1981. "Nash-Bargained Household Decisions: Toward a Generalization of the Theory of Demand," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 22(2), pages 333-349, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:jopoec:v:31:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00148-017-0667-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Mayu Kobayashi & Miki Kobayashi & Tsunao Okumura & Emiko Usui, 2016. "Sharing housework between husbands and wives: how to improve marital satisfaction for working wives in Japan," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-15, December.
    3. Bachmann, Ronald & Baumgarten, Daniel & Kröger, Hanna & Schaffner, Sandra & Vorell, Matthias & Fertig, Michael, 2010. "Study on various aspects of labour market performance using micro data from the European Union Labour Force Survey," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 69936.
    4. Bachmann, Ronald & Beimann, Boris & Bredtmann, Julia & David, Peggy & Ehlert, Christoph & Kassenböhmer, Sonja & Schaffner, Sandra & Siemers, Lars, 2011. "Studies on flexicurity Lot 1: Study on various aspects of labour market performance using micro data from the European Union statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC). Contract No. VC/2010/," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 72620.
    5. Foster, Gigi & Stratton, Leslie S., 2017. "Do Significant Labor Market Events Change Who Does the Chores? Paid Work, Housework and Power in Mixed-Gender Australian Households," IZA Discussion Papers 10831, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Julia Bredtmann & Sebastian Otten, 2014. "Getting what (employers think) you’re worth: Evidence on the gender gap in entry wages among university graduates," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 291-305, May.
    7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0218 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • C34 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models


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