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Do Significant Labor Market Events Change Who Does the Chores? Paid Work, Housework and Power in Mixed-Gender Australian Households

Listed author(s):
  • Foster, Gigi

    ()

    (University of New South Wales)

  • Stratton, Leslie S.

    ()

    (Virginia Commonwealth University)

We examine how men and women in mixed-gender unions change the time they allocate to housework in response to labor market promotions and terminations. Operating much like raises, such events have the potential to alter intra-household power dynamics. Using Australian panel data, we estimate couple-specific fixed effects models and find that female promotion has the strongest association with housework time allocation adjustments. These adjustments are in part attributable to concurrent changes in paid work time, but gender power relations also appear to play a role. Further results indicate that households holding more liberal gender role attitudes are more likely to adjust their housework time allocations after female promotion events. Power dynamics cannot, however, explain all the results. Supporting the sociological theory that partners may 'do gender', we find that in households with more traditional gender role attitudes, his housework time falls while hers rises when he is terminated.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10831.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2017
Publication status: forthcoming in: Journal of Population Economics.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10831
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  1. M. Browning & P. A. Chiappori, 1998. "Efficient Intra-Household Allocations: A General Characterization and Empirical Tests," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(6), pages 1241-1278, November.
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  3. Leslie S. Stratton, 2012. "The Role of Preferences and Opportunity Costs in Determining the Time Allocated to Housework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 606-611, May.
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  9. Elena G. F. Stancanelli & Leslie S. Stratton, 2014. "Maids, Appliances and Couples' Housework: The Demand for Inputs to Domestic Production," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 81(323), pages 445-467, 07.
  10. Shoshana Grossbard & Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, 2008. "Cohort-level sex ratio effects on women’s labor force participation," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 309-309, September.
  11. Sanjiv Gupta & Michael Ash, 2008. "Whose money, whose time? A nonparametric approach to modeling time spent on housework in the United States," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 93-120.
  12. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana Amyra, 1984. "A Theory of Allocation of Time in Markets for Labour and Marriage," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 863-882, December.
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  18. Charlene Kalenkoski & Gigi Foster, 2008. "The quality of time spent with children in Australian households," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 243-266, September.
  19. 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.
  20. Janeen Baxter & Belinda Hewitt, 2013. "Negotiating Domestic Labor: Women's Earnings and Housework Time in Australia," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 29-53, January.
  21. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana, 2003. "A consumer theory with competitive markets for work in marriage," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 609-645.
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  23. Rachel Connelly & Jean Kimmel, 2015. "If You're Happy and You Know It: How Do Mothers and Fathers in the US Really Feel about Caring for Their Children?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 1-34, January.
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