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The effect of housework on wages in Germany: No impact at all


  • Hirsch, Boris
  • Konietzko, Thorsten


This paper presents evidence on the impact of hours spent on housework activities on individuals' wages for Germany using data from both the German Socio-Economic Panel and the German Time Use Survey. In contrast to most of the international literature, we find no negative effect of housework on wages. This holds for men and women, for married and single individuals, and for part-time and full-time workers both in West and East Germany. Our insights do not change when we distinguish different types of housework activities or address the endogeneity of housework in our wage regressions by using instrumental variables estimators.

Suggested Citation

  • Hirsch, Boris & Konietzko, Thorsten, 2011. "The effect of housework on wages in Germany: No impact at all," Discussion Papers 74, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:faulre:74

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boris Hirsch & Claus Schnabel, 2012. "Women Move Differently: Job Separations and Gender," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 417-442, December.
    2. Alexander Mosthaf & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel, 2014. "Low-wage employment versus unemployment: Which one provides better prospects for women?," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-17, December.
    3. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen & Jackman, Richard, 2005. "Unemployment: Macroeconomic Performance and the Labour Market," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199279173.
    4. McDonald, Ian M & Suen, Anthony, 1992. "On the Measurement and Determination of Trade Union Power," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(2), pages 209-224, May.
    5. John Pencavel, 2009. "How Successful Have Trade Unions Been? A Utility-Based Indicator of Union Well-Being," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 62(2), pages 147-156, January.
    6. Booth,Alison L., 1994. "The Economics of the Trade Union," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521468398, March.
    7. John T. Addison & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2006. "The (Parlous) State of German Unions," Working Paper Series in Economics 23, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
    8. René Fahr & Uwe Sunde, 2009. "Did the Hartz Reforms Speed-Up the Matching Process? A Macro-Evaluation Using Empirical Matching Functions," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 10, pages 284-316, August.
    9. Booth, Alison L & Chatterji, Monojit, 1995. "Union Membership and Wage Bargaining When Membership is Not Compulsory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 345-360, March.
    10. Francesca D'Auria & Cécile Denis & Karel Havik & Kieran Mc Morrow & Christophe Planas & Rafal Raciborski & Werner Roger & Alessandro Rossi, 2010. "The production function methodology for calculating potential growth rates and output gaps," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 420, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    11. Alfonso Arpaia & Esther Pérez & Karl Pichelmann, 2009. "Understanding Labour Income Share Dynamics in Europe," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 379, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    12. Hirsch, Boris & Schnabel, Claus, 2011. "Let's Take Bargaining Models Seriously: The Decline in Union Power in Germany, 1992-2009," IZA Discussion Papers 5875, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. Sven Jung & Claus Schnabel, 2011. "Paying More than Necessary? The Wage Cushion in Germany," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 25(2), pages 182-197, June.
    14. Doiron, Denise J, 1992. "Bargaining Power and Wage-Employment Contracts in a Unionized Industry," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 583-606, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Schnabel, Claus, 2012. "Union membership and density: Some (not so) stylized facts and challenges," Discussion Papers 81, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    2. Oberfichtner, Michael, 2013. "Works council introductions: Do they reflect workers' voice?," Discussion Papers 83, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.

    More about this item


    housework; time use; gender pay gap; Germany;

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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