The Impact of Domestic Work on Men's and Women's Wages

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Abstract

Past research has consistently found that the negative relationship between housework and wages is stronger for women than for men. This article tests a potential explanation for this difference by focusing on the fact that men and women typically perform different types of household chores. Traditionally “feminine” and “masculine” task types are likely to interfere with work differently, because they vary as to when and how often they must be performed. Based on longitudinal data from the National Survey of Families and Households, fixed-effects regression results show that only time spent in female housework chores has a negative effect on wages. Furthermore, gender differences in the effect of housework disappear upon disaggregating housework into task types. This research suggests that a more equitable distribution of not only the amount, but also the type, of housework performed by men and women in the home may lead to a narrowing of the gender gap in wages.

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