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Timing and Flexibility of Housework and Men and Women's Wages

  • Bonke, Jens

    ()

    (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit)

  • Datta Gupta, Nabanita

    ()

    (Aarhus University)

  • Smith, Nina

    ()

    (Aarhus University)

This paper analyses the effect of housework on men and women’s wages in Denmark by estimating quantile regressions on Danish time use survey data from 1987, merged to register information on hourly wages and other labour market variables for each of the years 1987-1991. We find, as in U.S. studies, that housework has negative effects on the wages of women and positive effects on the wages of men, except at the high end of the conditional wage distribution. At the 90th quantile, housework has a positive effect on the wages of women and a negative effect on the wages of men, and in fact, high-wage men receive the largest wage penalty of doing housework. Timing and flexibility of housework turn out to be more important than the level of housework, and women, particularly at the high end of the conditional wage distribution, who time their housework immediately before or after market work or engage in home tasks that require contiguous blocks of time are significantly penalized in terms of lower wages. These findings are even stronger for married and cohabiting couples and for workers on fixed time schedules as opposed to workers with flexible time schedules which are part of a bargain with the employer.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 860.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: D.S. Hamermesh and G.A. Pfann (eds.). Contributions to Economic Analysis, Vol. 271, , Elsevier Press, 2004
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp860
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  1. Helena Skyt Nielsen & Marianne Simonsen & Mette Verner, 2004. "Does the Gap in Family-friendly Policies Drive the Family Gap?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(4), pages 721-744, December.
  2. Schettkat, Ronald, 2002. "Differences in US-German time-allocation: Why do Americans work longer hours than Germans?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment FS I 02-212, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  3. Gupta, N.D. & Smith, N., 2000. "Children and Career Interruptions: the Family Gap in Denmark," Papers 00-03, Centre for Labour Market and Social Research, Danmark-.
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  7. Leslie S. Stratton, 2001. "Why Does More Housework Lower Women's Wages? Testing Hypotheses Involving Job Effort and Hours Flexibility," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 82(1), pages 67-76.
  8. Joni Hersch & Leslie S. Stratton, 2002. "Housework and Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 217-229.
  9. Albrecht, James & Björklund, Anders & Vroman, Susan, 2001. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," IZA Discussion Papers 282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Jacobsen, Joyce P. & Kooreman, Peter, 2004. "Timing Constraints and the Allocation of Time: The Effects of Changing Shopping Hours Regulations in the Netherlands," IZA Discussion Papers 1309, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  12. Omar Arias & Walter Sosa-Escudero & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Individual heterogeneity in the returns to schooling: instrumental variables quantile regression using twins data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 7-40.
  13. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
  14. Hersch, Joni, 1991. "The Impact of Nonmarket Work on Market Wages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 157-60, May.
  15. Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S33-58, January.
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