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Housework and Wages

  • Joni Hersch
  • Leslie S. Stratton

Gender differences in labor market outcomes are often attributed to gender differences in household responsibilities, and substantial empirical evidence documents the direct negative impact of housework time on wages, particularly for married women. Using data from the National Survey of Families and Households, we find that housework has a negative effect on wages regardless of marital status. Furthermore, this relation is strongest for housework tasks such as cooking and cleaning that constitute a daily routine. Because women spend substantially more time on housework, controlling for housework time increases the explained component of the gender wage gap by 14 percentage points.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 37 (2002)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 217-229

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:37:y:2002:i:1:p:217-229
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