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Work, Inequality, and the Dual Career Household

Listed author(s):
  • Dan Wheatley and Zhongmin Wu

Dual career households have the potential to be the most egalitarian of all households. However, while paid work is increasingly distributed evenly between career men and women, household time remains a social constraint for many women. This paper considers the distribution of work among dual career households, using weekly time-use trends, reflecting on the fit of household models and the effectiveness of current work-focused policy. Descriptive analysis, random-effects probit regression, and case households provide an empirical focus on a post-industrial economy - the UK - using the 1993-2009 British Household Panel Survey. Long hours, especially overtime, persist in managerial and professional occupations. Meanwhile, housework burdens women with up to fourteen hours of additional work per week. Preferences for shorter hours remain greater among women, reflecting the impact of household time on paid work. The evidence presented in this paper suggests that the distribution of household labor renders dual career households less than egalitarian.

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Paper provided by Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School, Economics Division in its series Working Papers with number 2011/03.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
Handle: RePEc:nbs:wpaper:2011/03
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  1. Julie A. Nelson, 1995. "Feminism and Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 131-148, Spring.
  2. Vermeulen, Frederic, 2002. " Collective Household Models: Principles and Main Results," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(4), pages 533-564, September.
  3. Carmen Sirianni & Cynthia Negrey, 2000. "Working Time as Gendered Time," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 59-76.
  4. Irene van Staveren, 2010. "Post-Keynesianism meets feminist economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(6), pages 1123-1144.
  5. Grossbard, Shoshana, 2010. "Independent Individual Decision-Makers in Household Models and the New Home Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5138, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Inmaculada García-Mainar & José Alberto Molina & Víctor M. Montuenga, 2011. "Gender Differences in Childcare: Time Allocation in Five European Countries," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 119-150, January.
  7. McDowell, Linda & Perrons, Diane & Fagan, Colette & Ray, Kath & Ward, Kevin, 2005. "The contradictions and intersections of class and gender in a global city : placing working women's lives on the research agenda," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 548, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Linda McDowell & Diane Perrons & Colette Fagan & Kath Ray & Kevin Ward, 2005. "The contradictions and intersections of class and gender in a global city: placing working women's lives on the research agenda," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 37(3), pages 441-461, March.
  9. Susan Himmelweit, 1995. "The Discovery of 'Unpaid Work': the social consequences of the expansion of 'work'," Open Discussion Papers in Economics 6, The Open University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
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