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Working hours in dual-earner couples: Does one partner work less when the other works more?

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Abstract

In spite of increased labour market participation in recent decades, women in Norway still have high part-time rates and seldom work more than their partners. Given that an aging population implies a projected large labour demand in many Western countries, it is important to explore potential labour market reserves among women. Utilising the panel in the Norwegian part of the EU-SILC, we ask whether an increase in the mother's paid hours is associated with an increase or a decrease in the father's hours, or whether there is no relationship between changes in the partners' working hours at all. An increase from parttime to normal full time for the mother is not associated with a change in the father's hours, but an increase from full time to very long hours for the mother corresponds to an increase in the father's hours. A positive association between the parents' paid hours applies first and foremost to parents with school-aged children and to couples where both partners have either long or short education. When the mother has long education and the father has short, an increase in her paid hours is associated with a decrease in his.

Suggested Citation

  • Ragni Hege Kitterød & Marit Rønsen & Ane Seierstad, 2011. "Working hours in dual-earner couples: Does one partner work less when the other works more?," Discussion Papers 670, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:670
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    File URL: http://www.ssb.no/a/publikasjoner/pdf/DP/dp670.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jacqueline O'Reilly & Silke Bothfeld, 2002. "What happens after working part time? Integration, maintenance or exclusionary transitions in Britain and western Germany," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 409-439, July.
    2. Harriet Presser, 1989. "Can we make time for children? the economy, work schedules, and child care," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 26(4), pages 523-543, November.
    3. Michael Bittman & Paula England & Nancy Folbre & George Matheson, 2001. "When Gender Trumps Money: Bargaining and Time in Household Work," JCPR Working Papers 221, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
    4. Jerry Jacobs & Kathleen Green, 1998. "Who Are the Overworked Americans?," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(4), pages 442-459.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dual-earners; gender equality; labour market; working hours;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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