Intra-family time allocation to housework - French evidence

Dominique Anxo, Paul Carlin

Time allocation, intra-family, time use, home production, bargaining, elasticities

We analyse new time diary data from France to explore the relationship between economic variables and husbands’ share of housework time. Consistent with both bargaining and specialization models of the family, we find that the greater the husband’s share of labor income, the lower his share of housework time; the greater the wife’s market hours, the lower his housework time, but the larger his share of housework time. Treating market work as endogenous substantially lowers the size of these estimates, but they remain statistically significant. A parsimonious specification based on the specialization model generates estimates for housework share wage elasticities. The own wage elasticity of wives’ housework is -0.3 and the elasticity of husbands’ housework share with respect to wives’ wages is +0.25.