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Parenthood Without Penalty: Time Use And Public Policy In Australia And Finland


  • Michael Bittman


Housework and child care continue to be assigned on the basis of gender. Women are significantly disadvantaged by their unequal share of unpaid work. Three remedies for this situation have been advanced: (1) renegotiation of domestic division of labor, (2) substitution of market provision for unpaid labor, and (3) public provision of key services. Using time use and expenditure data from Australia this paper shows that most changes in the domestic division of labor have come from women's, rather than men's, adaptations. Furthermore, much of the change is attributable to increased reliance on market substitutes for women's domestic labor. A comparison of social policy and time use in Australia and Finland shows how entitlement to generous parental leave and public provision of child care can significantly reduce the economic and social penalties faced by mothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Bittman, 1999. "Parenthood Without Penalty: Time Use And Public Policy In Australia And Finland," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 27-42.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:5:y:1999:i:3:p:27-42 DOI: 10.1080/135457099337798

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Julie A. Nelson, 1993. "Value-Free or Valueless? Notes on the Pursuit of Detachment in Economics," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 121-145, Spring.
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    3. Baumol, William J, 1985. "On Method in U.S. Economics a Century Earlier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(6), pages 1-12, December.
    4. O. M. W. Sprague, 1911. "Fisher's Purchasing Power of Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 140-151.
    5. Janet Seiz, 1993. "Feminism and the History of Economic Thought," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 185-201, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Berenice Monna & Anne Gauthier, 2008. "A Review of the Literature on the Social and Economic Determinants of Parental Time," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 634-653, December.
    2. Lyn Craig, 2006. "Where Do They Find the Time?: An Analysis of How Parents Shift and Squeeze Their Time around Work and Child Care," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_439, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. Lyn Craig, 2007. "How Employed Mothers in Australia Find Time for Both Market Work and Childcare," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 69-87, March.
    4. Shan Li, 2016. "The determinants of Mexican migrants’ duration in the United States: family composition, psychic costs, and human capital," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, December.
    5. Šikić-Mićanović Lynette, 2011. "The Meanings and Experiences of Domestic Labour among Rural Women in Croatia," Eastern European Countryside, De Gruyter Open, vol. 17(-1), pages 87-106, January.
    6. Maria Gutiérrez-Domènech, 2010. "Parental employment and time with children in Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 371-391, September.
    7. Ragni Hege Kitterød & Jan Lyngstad, 2013. "Comparing mothers' and fathers' reports on the non-resident father's contact with his children," Discussion Papers 744, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    8. Paul Callister, 2005. "The changing gender distribution of paid and unpaid work in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 05/07, New Zealand Treasury.
    9. Anne H. Gauthier & Timothy M. Smeeding & Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr., 2004. "Do We Invest Less Time in Children? Trends in Parental Time in Selected Industrialized Countries Since the 1960's," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 64, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    10. Daumerie, Béatrice, 2003. "What Future for Europe? New perspectives in post-industrial fertility issues," Arbetsrapport 2003:7, Institute for Futures Studies.
    11. Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2009. "Accommodating Families," Chapters,in: Labor and Employment Law and Economics, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Robert Drago & Rosanna Scutella & Amy Varner, 2002. "Work and Family Directions in the US and Australia: A Policy Research Agenda," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n12, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    13. Joyce P. Jacobsen, 2009. "Accommodating Families," Chapters,in: Labor and Employment Law and Economics, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.


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