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Women's relative position and the division of household work: A study of French couples

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  • Catherine Sofer

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Sayyid Salman Rizavi

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of women's relative position in the labour market on the division of household work for French couples. Taking into account that household decisions are taken simultaneously, the paper provides empirical evidence that women's relative position in the labour market with reference to her partner influences the distribution of household work. We find that men's share of household work increases with his partner's better relative position in the labour market. But women's better position, relative to the average of her "type" has a less significant impact upon the distribution of household work within the household. Although the gap in household work decreases with the woman being in a better relative position, we never observe a role reversal: whatever their situation in the labour market may be, women always have in charge the largest share of household work.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Sofer & Sayyid Salman Rizavi, 2009. "Women's relative position and the division of household work: A study of French couples," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00687280, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-00687280
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00687280
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
    2. Duncan Thomas, 1990. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(4), pages 635-664.
    3. Andrew E. Clark & Hélène Couprie & Catherine Sofer, 2004. "La modélisation collective de l'offre de travail. Mise en perspective et application aux données britanniques," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 55(4), pages 767-789.
    4. Manser, Marilyn & Brown, Murray, 1980. "Marriage and Household Decision-Making: A Bargaining Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 21(1), pages 31-44, February.
    5. Thomas Aronsson & Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Magnus Wikström, 2001. "Estimating intrahousehold allocation in a collective model with household production," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(4), pages 569-584.
    6. Michael Bittman & Paula England & Nancy Folbre & George Matheson, 2001. "When Gender Trumps Money: Bargaining and Time in Household Work," JCPR Working Papers 221, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    7. Kooreman, Peter & Kapteyn, Arie, 1987. "A Disaggregated Analysis of the Allocation of Time within the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 223-249, April.
    8. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1988. "Rational Household Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 63-90, January.
    9. Benoît Rapoport & Catherine Sofer & Anne Solaz, 2011. "Household production in a collective model: some new results," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 23-45, January.
    10. Hersch, Joni & Stratton, Leslie S, 1994. "Housework, Wages, and the Division of Housework Time for Employed Spouses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 120-125, May.
    11. Chiappori, Pierre-Andre, 1992. "Collective Labor Supply and Welfare," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(3), pages 437-467, June.
    12. Dominique Anxo & Paul Carlin, 2004. "Intra-family time allocation to housework - French evidence," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 1(1), pages 14-36, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas Moreau & Elena Stancanelli, 2013. "Household Consumption at Retirement: A Regression Discontinuity Study on French," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13072, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    2. Nicolas Moreau & Elena Stancanelli, 2015. "Household Consumption at Retirement : A Regression Discontinuity Study on French Data," Annals of Economics and Statistics, GENES, issue 117-118, pages 253-276.
    3. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00881215 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Harashima, Taiji, 2014. "Division of Work and Fragmented Information: An Explanation for the Diminishing Marginal Product of Labor," MPRA Paper 56301, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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