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Time Use of Mothers and Fathers in Hard Times and Better Times: the U.S. Business Cycle of 2003-2010

  • Günseli Berik
  • Ebru Kongar

The U.S. economic crisis and recession of 2007-2009 accelerated the convergence of women’s and men’s employment rates as men experienced disproportionate job losses and women’s entry into the labor force gathered pace. Using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data for 2003-2010, this study examines whether the narrowing gap in paid work over this period was mirrored in unpaid work, personal care and leisure time. We find that the gender gap in unpaid work followed a U-pattern, narrowing during the recession but widening afterwards. Through segregation analysis we trace this U-pattern to the slow erosion of gender segregation in housework and through a standard decomposition analysis of time use by employment status we show that this pattern was mainly driven by movement towards gender equitable unpaid hours of women and men with the same employment status. In addition, over the business cycle gender inequality in leisure time increased.

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File URL: http://economics.utah.edu/research/publications/2011_16.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Utah, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah with number 2011_16.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uta:papers:2011_16
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Web page: http://economics.utah.edu

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  1. Blau, Francine D. & Kahn, Lawrence M., 2006. "Changes in the Labor Supply Behavior of Married Women: 1980-2000," IZA Discussion Papers 2180, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia & Younghwan Song, 2013. "Single Mothers’ Time Preference, Smoking, and Enriching Childcare: Evidence from Time Diaries," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(3), pages 424-424.
  3. Fiona MacPhail & Xiao-yuan Dong, 2007. "Women's market work and household status in rural China: Evidence from Jiangsu and Shandong in the late 1990s," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3-4), pages 93-124.
  4. Melinda Sandler Morrill & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2012. "What Effects do Macroeconomic Conditions Have on Families' Time Together?," Working Papers 454, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  5. Jay Stewart, 2010. "The Timing of Maternal Work and Time with Children," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(1), pages 181-200, October.
  6. Mabsout, Ramzi & van Staveren, Irene, 2010. "Disentangling Bargaining Power from Individual and Household Level to Institutions: Evidence on Women's Position in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 783-796, May.
  7. Connelly, Rachel & Kimmel, Jean, 2007. "Spousal Influences on Parents' Non-Market Time Choices," IZA Discussion Papers 2894, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Jay Stewart, 2009. "The Timing of Maternal Work and Time with Children," Working Papers 425, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  9. Jay Stewart, 2010. "The The Timing of Maternal Work and Time with Children," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 64(1), pages 181-200, October.
  10. Mark A. Aguiar & Erik Hurst & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "Time Use During Recessions," NBER Working Papers 17259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Martha MacDonald & Shelley Phipps & Lynn Lethbridge, 2005. "Taking Its Toll: The Influence Of Paid And Unpaid Work On Women'S Well-Being," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(1), pages 63-94.
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