IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Division of Labour Within Households: Fractional Logit Estimates based on the Austrian Time Use Survey


  • Spitzer, Sonja
  • Hammer, Bernhard


The allocation of paid and unpaid work within households strongly depends on the household members’ individual characteristics. The most important of these characteristics is gender, followed by education and parenthood. Despite the significant increase in women’s labour market participation in the last decades, they still perform 73 percent of housework and 79 percent of childcare in 2008/09. This paper studies the determinants of the persistent division of labour within households with a new approach that combines standard absolute measures of time use with the relative measure of time use shares. This approach allows for a better understanding of the division of labour and the influence of the household member’s characteristics on these allocations. The empirical analysis relies on the Austrian time use survey conducted in 1992 and 2008/09. To appropriately account for the complex structure of time use data, the fractional logit model is applied for predicting shares, and a Poisson-gamma model is introduced for estimating total amounts. Hereby, the complex dynamics of task allocation can be studied in Austria for the first time. The results indicate for the last two decades that there has been an overall increase in the time devoted to market work and childcare, but also that there has been a total decrease in housework. The latter may be explained by an increase in outsourcing work, due to gains in productivity, or because work is simply left undone. The results of the study also show that the higher women are educated, the more balanced paid and unpaid work are within households. On the contrary, parenthood increases female specialisation into unpaid work. Lastly, the results indicate a slight relaxation of gender roles over the last 20 years, however, the segregation of paid and unpaid work still persists.

Suggested Citation

  • Spitzer, Sonja & Hammer, Bernhard, 2016. "The Division of Labour Within Households: Fractional Logit Estimates based on the Austrian Time Use Survey," MPRA Paper 81791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:81791

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: original version
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & Georgi Kocharkov & Cezar Santos, 2014. "Marry Your Like: Assortative Mating and Income Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 348-353, May.
    2. John Mullahy, 2010. "Multivariate Fractional Regression Estimation of Econometric Share Models," NBER Working Papers 16354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Joost de Laat & Almudena Sevilla-Sanz, 2011. "The Fertility and Women's Labor Force Participation puzzle in OECD Countries: The Role of Men's Home Production," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 87-119.
    4. 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 33-58, January.
    5. repec:ilo:ilowps:469485 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Esmeralda A. Ramalho & Joaquim J.S. Ramalho & José M.R. Murteira, 2011. "Alternative Estimating And Testing Empirical Strategies For Fractional Regression Models," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 19-68, February.
    7. Baum, Christopher F., 2008. "Stata tip 63: Modeling proportions," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 1-5.
    8. Pasteels, Jean-Michel., 2012. "ILO projections of the economically active population : revised methodology of the 2011 edition," ILO Working Papers 994694853402676, International Labour Organization.
    9. Kathleen Harris & Frank Furstenberg & Jeremy Marmer, 1998. "Paternal involvement with adolescents in intact families: The influence of fathers over the life course," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(2), pages 201-216, May.
    10. Almudena Sevilla-Sanz & Jose Ignacio Gimenez-Nadal & Cristina Fernandez, 2010. "Gender Roles and the Division of Unpaid Work in Spanish Households," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 137-184.
    11. Mette Deding & Mette Lausten, 2006. "Choosing between his time and her time? Paid and unpaid work of Danish couples," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 3(1), pages 28-48, August.
    12. Judith E. Brown & Peter K. Dunn, 2011. "Comparisons of Tobit, Linear, and Poisson-Gamma Regression Models," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 40(3), pages 511-535, August.
    13. Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
    14. Ana Cardoso & Elsa Fontainha & Chiara Monfardini, 2010. "Children’s and parents’ time use: empirical evidence on investment in human capital in France, Germany and Italy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 479-504, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:jsecdv:v:20:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s40847-018-0063-5 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Division of Labour; Unpaid Work; Female Labour Market Participation; Fractional Logit Model; Poisson-gamma Model; Childcare; Housework; Gender Roles; Time Use;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:81791. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.