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Lazy Rotten Sons? Relatedness, gender and the intra-household allocation of work and leisure in South Africa

Author

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  • Martin Wittenberg

    () (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

Abstract

We investigate the balance between work (including home production), leisure and personal care (chiefly sleep) within South African households. We use the South African time use survey which enables us to obtain a better measure of the division of total labour (paid and unpaid) within South African households than previous studies have been able to. Furthermore we construct a measure of "genetic" relatedness between the respondent and other members of the household. We find that women that are more closely related to other household members do more work and enjoy less leisure than more peripheral individuals. Single men, by contrast, seem to do less work and enjoy more leisure if they are more closely related to other household members. Our findings are not compatible with the unitary model of the household. They suggest that men extract extra leisure because of the anticipated altruism shown by women.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Wittenberg, 2009. "Lazy Rotten Sons? Relatedness, gender and the intra-household allocation of work and leisure in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 28, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:wpaper:28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    altruism; genetic relatedness; Hamilton’s rule; intra-household allocation; rotten kid theorem; time use;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D64 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Altruism; Philanthropy; Intergenerational Transfers
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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