On the time allocation of married couples since 1960
In the last half a century, married females more than doubled their workforce participation and significantly reduced their time spent on home production. Using a model of family decision making with home production and individual earnings heterogeneity, we subject two prominent explanations for this aggregate change, namely, the evolution of the gender earnings gap and the cost of home appliances, to quantitative tests with respect to changes in participation for disaggregated groups of couples and trends in time spent in leisure and home production activities. We find that both forces are needed to understand the evolution of married female time allocation over time, although the falling cost of home appliances is a dominant explanation for the time allocation outside of workplace, while the gender earnings gap is the dominant explanation for the workforce participation decision.
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