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Taking Its Toll: The Influence Of Paid And Unpaid Work On Women'S Well-Being

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  • Martha MacDonald
  • Shelley Phipps
  • Lynn Lethbridge

Abstract

This paper examines gender differences in the impact of paid and unpaid productive activities on well-being. Using recent Canadian data, we examine the time spent by prime-age women and men (25 - 54) on paid work, childcare, eldercare, household work, volunteering, and education, and then assess its impact on stress and work-life balance. Using multivariate analyses, we show that women's greater hours of unpaid work contribute to women experiencing more stress than men, and of that work, hours spent on eldercare and housework are more stressful than those spent on childcare. We also examine the influence of job characteristics and spouses' paid and unpaid work time on stress. Neither spouse's unpaid work nor most job characteristics alleviate stress, once work hours are controlled. However, the evidence suggests that women, more so than men, use strategies such as self-employment to improve work-life balance.

Suggested Citation

  • Martha MacDonald & Shelley Phipps & Lynn Lethbridge, 2005. "Taking Its Toll: The Influence Of Paid And Unpaid Work On Women'S Well-Being," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 63-94.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:11:y:2005:i:1:p:63-94
    DOI: 10.1080/1354570042000332597
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Shelley Phipps & Peter Burton & Lars Osberg, 2001. "Time as a Source of Inequality Within Marriage: Are Husbands More Satisfied With Time for Themselves than Wives?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(2), pages 1-21.
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    Cited by:

    1. Günseli Berik & Ebru Kongar, 2011. "Time Use of Mothers and Fathers in Hard Times and Better Times: the U.S. Business Cycle of 2003-2010," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2011_16, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
    2. Melinda Podor & Timothy J. Halliday, 2012. "Health status and the allocation of time," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 514-527, May.
    3. Gigi Foster & Leslie S. Stratton, 2019. "What women want (their men to do): Housework and Satisfaction in Australian Households," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3), pages 23-47, July.
    4. Phipps, Shelley A. & Lethbridge, Lynn & Burton, Peter, 2006. "Long-run consequences of parental paid work hours for child overweight status in Canada," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(4), pages 977-986, February.
    5. Meurs, Mieke & Slavchevska, Vanya, 2014. "Doing it all: Women’s employment and reproductive work in Tajikistan," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 786-803.
    6. Karin Astrid Siegmann & Myriam Blin, 2006. "The Best Of Two Worlds: Between-Method Triangulation In Feminist Economics Research," Working Papers 146, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    7. Venn, Danielle & Strazdins, Lyndall, 2017. "Your money or your time? How both types of scarcity matter to physical activity and healthy eating," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 98-106.
    8. Begoña Álvarez & Daniel Miles-Touya, 2016. "Time Allocation and Women’s Life Satisfaction: Evidence from Spain," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 1207-1230, December.
    9. Dong Zhou & Langchuan Peng, 2018. "The Relationship Between the Gender Gap in Subjective Well-Being and Leisure Activities in China," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 19(7), pages 2139-2166, October.
    10. Lois B. Shaw, 2006. "Differing Prospects For Women and Men: Young Old-Age, Old Old-Age, and Elder Care," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_464, Levy Economics Institute.
    11. Daniel Wheatley & Zhongmin Wu, 2014. "Dual careers, time-use and satisfaction levels: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Industrial Relations Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(5), pages 443-464, September.
    12. Jenny Willson & Andy Dickerson, 2010. "Part time employment and happiness: A cross-country analysis," Working Papers 2010021, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2010.
    13. Gunseli Berik & Ebru Kongar, 2011. "Time Use of Mothers and Fathers in Hard Times and Better Times: The US Business Cycle of 2003-10," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_696, Levy Economics Institute.
    14. Chiara Mussida & Raffaella Patimo, 2018. "Women’s care responsibilities, employment and health: a two countries’ tale," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali dises141, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    15. Christine Mayrhuber & Michaela Neumayr & Margit Schratzenstaller & Birgit Buchinger & Ulrike Gschwandtner, 2006. "Gender-Budget-Analyse für Oberösterreich," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 27105.
    16. Marina Della Giusta & Nigar Hashimzade & Sarah Jewell, 2011. "Why Care? Social Norms, Relative Income and the Supply of Unpaid Care," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2011-03, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    17. Juan Carlos Campaña & J. Ignacio Giménez-Nadal & José Alberto Molina, 2020. "Self-employed and Employed Mothers in Latin American Families: Are There Differences in Paid Work, Unpaid Work, and Child Care?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 52-69, March.
    18. Maclean, Johanna Catherine, 2013. "The health effects of leaving school in a bad economy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 951-964.
    19. Anne Winkler & Thomas Ireland, 2009. "Time Spent in Household Management: Evidence and Implications," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 293-304, September.

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