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Her Time, His Time, or the Maid's Time: An Analysis of the Demand for Domestic Work

  • Stancanelli, Elena G. F.

    ()

    (CNRS, Sorbonne Economics Research Center (CES))

  • Stratton, Leslie S.

    ()

    (Virginia Commonwealth University)

This paper analyzes households' demand for time inputs to domestic services, modeling simultaneously the decision to purchase services in the market and the time spent on weekend and weekday days by each partner on routine household chores. By focusing on cleaning, laundry, and ironing, we reduce the likelihood that preferences matter and increase the overlap with market services. Particular emphasis is placed on estimating the effects of prices, as captured by own and partner wages and the market price for domestic services. We exploit time-diary data for Great Britain and France, relying on cross-country comparisons to generalize our findings. The results indicate that prices strongly influence market purchases, and that maid service is a closer substitute for household time on weekends than weekdays, but is also correlated with 'her' weekday time. More generally, we find that women's wages have a stronger association with the inputs to domestic work than any other price measure.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5253.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Maids, Appliances and Couples' Housework: The Demand for Inputs to Domestic Production' in: Economica, 2014, 81 (323), 445-467
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5253
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  1. Hans G. Bloemen* and Elena G. F. Stancanelli, 2008. "How do spouses allocate time : the effects of wages and income," THEMA Working Papers 2008-40, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  2. Robert A. Pollak, 2005. "Bargaining Power in Marriage: Earnings, Wage Rates and Household Production," NBER Working Papers 11239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Suen, W., 1995. "Market-procured housework: The demand for domestic servants and female labor supply," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 105-105, March.
  4. Flipo, Anne & Fougère, Denis & Olier, Lucile, 2000. "Is the Household Demand for In-Home Services Sensitive to Tax Reductions? The French Case," CEPR Discussion Papers 2577, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Joni Hersch & Leslie S. Stratton, 1997. "Housework, Fixed Effects, and Wages of Married Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 285-307.
  6. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2007. "Time to Eat: Household Production under Increasing Income Inequality," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(4), pages 852-863.
  7. Jean Kimmel & Rachel Connelly, 2007. "Mothers’ Time Choices: Caregiving, Leisure, Home Production, and Paid Work," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(3).
  8. Jay Stewart, 2009. "Tobit or Not Tobit?," Working Papers 432, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  9. Jens Bonke & Mette Deding & Mette Lausten & Leslie S. Stratton, 2008. "Intra-Household Specialization in Housework in the United States and Denmark," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1023-1043.
  10. Alfonso Sousa-Poza & Hans Schmid & Rolf Widmer, 2001. "The allocation and value of time assigned to housework and child-care: An analysis for Switzerland," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 599-618.
  11. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst, 2005. "Consumption versus Expenditure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 919-948, October.
  12. Rachel Connelly & Jean Kimmel, 2009. "Spousal influences on parents’ non-market time choices," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 361-394, December.
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