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Culture and Gender Allocation of Tasks: Source Country Characteristics and the Division of Non-Market Work among US Immigrants

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  • Francine D. Blau
  • Lawrence M. Kahn
  • Matthew Comey
  • Amanda Eng
  • Pamela Meyerhofer
  • Alexander Willén

Abstract

There is a well-known gender difference in time allocation within the household, which has important implications for gender differences in labor market outcomes. We ask how malleable this gender difference in time allocation is to culture. In particular, we ask if US immigrants allocate tasks differently depending upon the characteristics of the source countries from which they emigrated. Using data from the 2003-2017 waves of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), we find that first-generation immigrants, both women and men, from source countries with more gender equality (as measured by the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index) allocate tasks more equally, while those from less gender equal source countries allocate tasks more traditionally. These results are robust to controls for immigration cohort, years since migration, and other own and spouse characteristics. There is also some indication of an effect of parent source country gender equality for second-generation immigrants, particularly for second-generation men with children. Our findings suggest that broader cultural factors do influence the gender division of labor in the household.

Suggested Citation

  • Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Matthew Comey & Amanda Eng & Pamela Meyerhofer & Alexander Willén, 2020. "Culture and Gender Allocation of Tasks: Source Country Characteristics and the Division of Non-Market Work among US Immigrants," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1858, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1858
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    2. Gordon B Dahl & Christina Felfe & Paul Frijters & Helmut Rainer, 2022. "Caught between Cultures: Unintended Consequences of Improving Opportunity for Immigrant Girls [Economics and Identity]," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 89(5), pages 2491-2528.
    3. Ferrer, Ana M. & Pan, Annie & Schirle, Tammy, 2022. "The work trajectories of married Canadian immigrant women, 2006-2019," CLEF Working Paper Series 47, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.
    4. Kumar, Rahul & Maity, Bipasha, 2022. "Cultural norms and women’s health: Implications of the practice of menstrual restrictions in Nepal," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 27(C).
    5. Ayaita, Adam, 2022. "Ethnic Minority Background and Personality Characteristics: Evidence from a Representative Sample of the Adult Population," EconStor Preprints 251745, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    6. Grossbard Shoshana Amyra & Vernon Victoria, 2020. "Do immigrants pay a price when marrying natives? Lessons from the US time use survey," IZA Journal of Development and Migration, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 11(1), pages 1-37, January.
    7. Ferrer, Ana M. & Mascella, Allison, 2022. "Immigrant gaps in parental time investments into children's human capital activities," CLEF Working Paper Series 48, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.
    8. Héctor Bellido & Miriam Marcén & Marina Morales, 2021. "The Reverse Gender Gap in Volunteer Activities: Does Culture Matter?," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(12), pages 1-15, June.
    9. Jonas Jessen, 2021. "Culture, Children and Couple Gender Inequality," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1957, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Bredtmann, Julia & Otten, Sebastian, 2022. "Culture and the Labor Supply of Female Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 15789, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Jessen, Jonas, 2022. "Culture, children and couple gender inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 150(C).
    12. Averkamp, Dorothée & Bredemeier, Christian & Juessen, Falko, 2021. "Decomposing Gender Wage Gaps - A Family Economics Perspective," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242361, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Lundberg, Shelly, 2022. "Gender Economics: Dead-Ends and New Opportunities," IZA Discussion Papers 15217, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Simon Rabaté & Externe auteur: Sara Rellstab, 2021. "The Child Penalty in the Netherlands and its Determinants," CPB Discussion Paper 424, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    15. Marcén, Miriam & Morales, Marina, 2021. "Culture and the cross-country differences in the gender commuting gap," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Housework; childcare; gender; immigration; time allocation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • 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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