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Gender Differences in Time Use over the Life Course in France, Italy, Sweden, and the US


  • Dominique Anxo
  • Letizia Mencarini
  • Ariane Pailhe
  • Anne Solaz
  • Maria Letizia Tanturri
  • Lennart Flood


This contribution analyzes how men and women in France, Italy, Sweden, and the United States use their time over the life cycle and the extent to which societal and institutional contexts influence the gender division of labor. In order to test the hypothesis that contextual factors play a crucial role in shaping time allocation, this study considers countries that diverge considerably in terms of welfare state regime, employment and paid working time systems, family policies, and social norms. Using national time-use surveys for the late 1990s and early 2000s and regression techniques, the study not only finds large gender discrepancies in time use in each country at all stages of life but also determines that institutional contexts, in particular the design of family policies and employment regimes, do shape gender roles in different ways, and that Sweden displays the lowest gender gap in time allocation across the life course.

Suggested Citation

  • Dominique Anxo & Letizia Mencarini & Ariane Pailhe & Anne Solaz & Maria Letizia Tanturri & Lennart Flood, 2011. "Gender Differences in Time Use over the Life Course in France, Italy, Sweden, and the US," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(3), pages 159-195.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:17:y:2011:i:3:p:159-195
    DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2011.582822

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    Cited by:

    1. Marcantonio Caltabiano & Maria Gabriella Campolo & Antonino Di Pino, 2016. "Retirement and Intra-Household Labour Division of Italian Couples: A New Simultaneous Equation Approach," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(3), pages 1217-1238, September.
    2. Wunder, Christoph & Heineck, Guido, 2013. "Working time preferences, hours mismatch and well-being of couples: Are there spillovers?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 244-252.
    3. Ragni Hege Kitterød & Marit Rønsen, 2013. "Does parenthood imply less specialization than before? Tales from the Norwegian time use surveys 1980-2010," Discussion Papers 757, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    4. Adele Menniti & Pietro Demurtas & Serena Arima & Alessandra De Rose, "undated". "Gender inequality at home when mothers work. The case of Italy," Working Papers 130/14, Sapienza University of Rome, Metodi e modelli per l'economia, il territorio e la finanza MEMOTEF.
    5. Zhelyazkova N., 2013. "Parental leave within the broader work‐family trajectory : What can we learn from sequence analysis?," MERIT Working Papers 049, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Kreimer, Margareta & Mora, Ricardo, 2013. "Segregated integration : recent trends in the Austrian gender division of labor," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1317, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    7. Letizia Mencarini & Daniele Vignoli, 2014. "Women’s employment makes unions more stable, if the male partners contribute to the unpaid household work," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2014_06, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    8. Zoe Adams & Simon Deakin, 2014. "Institutional Solutions to Precariousness & Inequality in Labour Markets," Working Papers wp463, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    9. Ebru Kongar & Mark Price, 2017. "Gender, Socioeconomic Status, and Time Use of Married and Cohabiting Parents during the Great Recession," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_888, Levy Economics Institute.
    10. Anne Solaz & François-Charles Wolff, 2015. "Intergenerational Correlation of Domestic Work : Does Gender Matter ?," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 117-118, pages 159-184.
    11. Richard Stjärnfäldt, 2016. "Are Parents More Likely to Be Unemployed? A Study of Nine Western Democracies," LIS Working papers 685, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    12. Cem Baslevent, 2014. "The Work-Life Conflict and Well-Being of Turkish Employees," Working Papers 827, Economic Research Forum, revised May 2014.
    13. Cem Başlevent & Hasan Kirmanoğlu, 2014. "The Impact of Deviations from Desired Hours of Work on the Life Satisfaction of Employees," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 118(1), pages 33-43, August.
    14. Daniela Del Boca, 2015. "Child Care Arrangements and Labor Supply," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 88074, Inter-American Development Bank.
    15. Zoe Adams & Simon Deakin, 2014. "Institutional Solutions to Precariousness and Inequality in Labour Markets," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 52(4), pages 779-809, December.
    16. Ebru Kongar & Emel Memis, 2017. "Gendered Patterns of Time Use over the Life Cycle: Evidence from Turkey," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_884, Levy Economics Institute.
    17. Sarah Gammage, 2015. "Labour market institutions and gender equality," Chapters,in: Labour Markets, Institutions and Inequality, chapter 12, pages 315-339 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    18. Clara Champagne & Ariane Pailhé & Anne Solaz, 2015. "Le temps domestique et parental des hommes et des femmes : quels facteurs d'évolutions en 25 ans ?," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 478(1), pages 209-242.
    19. Cem Başlevent & Hasan Kirmanoğlu, 2017. "Gender Inequality in Europe and the Life Satisfaction of Working and Non-working Women," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 107-124, February.


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