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Market Earnings and Household Work: New Tests of Gender Performance Theory


  • This article was edited by Suzanne Bianchi.

284 Wallace Hall, Office of Population Research, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, (


I examine the contested finding that men and women engage in gender performance through housework. Prior scholarship has found a curvilinear association between earnings share and housework that has been interpreted as evidence of gender performance. I reexamine these findings by conducting the first such analysis to use high-quality time diary data for a U.S. sample in the contemporary period. Drawing on data on 11,868 married women and 10,770 married men in the American Time Use Survey (2003–2007), I find no evidence that married men “do gender” through housework. I do, however, find strong evidence of gender performance among women as evidenced by a curvilinear association between earnings share and women's housework time.