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Couples' Time Together: Complementarities in Production versus Complementarities in Consumption

Author

Listed:
  • Mansour, Hani

    () (University of Colorado Denver)

  • McKinnish, Terra

    () (University of Colorado, Boulder)

Abstract

Economists have previously suggested that gains from marriage can be generated by complementarities in production (gains from specialization and exchange) or by complementarities in consumption (gains from joint consumption of household public goods and joint time consumption). This paper uses the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) from 2003-2011 to test whether couples that engage in less specialization (are more similar in hours of market work) spend more time together. We find that among married couples without young children, those with a greater difference in weekly hours of work between husband and wife spend less time together on non-working weekend days. Importantly, we find that this relationship is quite symmetric between couples in which the husband works greater hours and couples in which the wife works greater hours. We do not find evidence of a relationship between specialization and couple time together among couples with young children.

Suggested Citation

  • Mansour, Hani & McKinnish, Terra, 2013. "Couples' Time Together: Complementarities in Production versus Complementarities in Consumption," IZA Discussion Papers 7848, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7848
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2002. "Timing, togetherness and time windfalls," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 601-623.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, June.
    3. Morrill, Melinda Sandler & Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff, 2012. "What Effects Do Macroeconomic Conditions Have on Families' Time Together?," IZA Discussion Papers 6529, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Osberg, Lars, 2003. "Nobody to play with? The implications of leisure coordination," ISER Working Paper Series 2003-19, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    5. Shelly Lundberg & Elaina Rose, 1998. "The Determinants of Specialization Within Marriage," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0048, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
    6. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 27-52, Spring.
    7. Shelly Lundberg, 2012. "Personality and marital surplus," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 1(1), pages 1-21, December.
    8. Hallberg, Daniel, 2003. "Synchronous leisure, jointness and household labor supply," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 185-203, April.
    9. Mark Aguiar & Erik Hurst & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2013. "Time Use during the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1664-1696, August.
    10. David Lam, 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 462-487.
    11. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Harley Frazis & Jay Stewart, 2005. "Data Watch: The American Time Use Survey," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(1), pages 221-232, Winter.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joan García-Román & Sarah Flood & Katie Genadek, 2017. "Parents’ time with a partner in a cross-national context: A comparison of the United States, Spain, and France," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 36(4), pages 111-144, January.
    2. Katie R. Genadek & Sarah M. Flood & Joan Garcia Roman, 2016. "Trends in Spouses’ Shared Time in the United States, 1965–2012," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(6), pages 1801-1820, December.
    3. repec:spr:soinre:v:133:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1370-x is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11150-017-9365-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    joint consumption; home production; time use;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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