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Who Uses Paid Domestic Labor in Australia? Choice and Constraint in Hiring Household Help

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  • Janeen Baxter
  • Belinda Hewitt
  • Mark Western

Abstract

This paper investigates why some Australian households use paid help with domestic labor while others do not. Consistent with earlier studies, the analysis examines hypotheses relating to resources, objective demand, and gender attitudes. Additionally, this paper examines the impact of attitudes toward using paid domestic labor, an area that has not been investigated previously. The findings suggest that resources and objective demand provide the parameters within which employing household help is made possible or necessary, but beliefs about the appropriateness of this strategy also play a role in determining whether Australian households use paid domestic labor. The paper concludes that understanding whether Australian households pay for domestic help is dependent not just on the level of resources and objective demand but also on whether individuals view paid domestic help as an appropriate strategy for undertaking domestic work.

Suggested Citation

  • Janeen Baxter & Belinda Hewitt & Mark Western, 2009. "Who Uses Paid Domestic Labor in Australia? Choice and Constraint in Hiring Household Help," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 1-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:15:y:2009:i:1:p:1-26
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700802248989
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ali Fakih & Pascal L. Ghazalian, 2013. "Female Labour Force Participation in MENA's Manufacturing Sector: The Implications of Firm-related and National Factors," CIRANO Working Papers 2013s-46, CIRANO.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:eee:wdevel:v:99:y:2017:i:c:p:28-41 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Fakih, Ali & Marrouch, Walid, 2012. "Determinants of Domestic Workers' Employment: Evidence from Lebanese Household Survey Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6822, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Ali Fakih & Walid Marrouch, 2014. "Who hires foreign domestic workers? evidence from Lebanon," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 48(3), pages 339-352, July-Sept.
    6. Lyn Craig & Janeen Baxter, 2016. "Domestic Outsourcing, Housework Shares and Subjective Time Pressure: Gender Differences in the Correlates of Hiring Help," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 271-288, January.
    7. Lyn Craig & Janeen Baxter, 2016. "Domestic Outsourcing, Housework Shares and Subjective Time Pressure: Gender Differences in the Correlates of Hiring Help," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 271-288, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Paid domestic labor; housework; attitudes; gender; JEL Codes: J12; J16; J22;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • 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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