1 Volume 3 Issue 1

European mothers’ time spent looking after children - differences and similarities acrossnine countries

Jutta M. Joesch, C. Katharina Spiess

We describe and compare how many hours per week mothers reported looking after children in nine European countries in 1996. In addition, we explore to what extent cross-country differences in socio-demographic characteristics and parental employment contribute to differences in maternal time spent looking after children. The data are from the 1996 wave of the European Community Household Panel for mothers with children under 16 years of age. We find cross-country differences in the mean number of hours mothers reported looking after children. Only a small portion of these differences is explained by variation in socio-demographic characteristics and employment status. Country-specific policies aimed at reconciling parenthood and employment appear to explain some of the differences.

Choosing between his time and her time? Paid and unpaid work of Danish couples

Mette Deding, Mette Lausten

In terms of paid and unpaid work, Danish men and women work the same number of hours per week. But while men do most paid work, women do most unpaid work. We investigate the interaction between paid work and unpaid work for Danish working couples, using the 2001 Danish Time Use Survey. We test several competing theories regarding the intra-individual and intra-household allocation of paid and unpaid work: comparative advantage, bargaining, assortative mating and ‘doing gender’. In addition, we divide unpaid work into ordinary housework and childcare and analyse whether these two activities interact differently with paid work hours. In general, the results favour the assortative mating and ‘doing gender’ theories, but do not support the bargaining or comparative advantage theories. Furthermore, results clearly show that housework and childcare are separate activities with different interaction effects.

Assessing alternative dissimilarity indexes for comparing activity profiles

Jay Stewart

When making between-group time use comparisons, it is often useful to have a single measure that summarizes the dissimilarity between the two groups. This paper examines the robustness of four alternative dissimilarity indexes. The main finding is that unweighted indexes, such as the Szalai T, are sensitive to the level at which activities are aggregated, while weighted indexes are robust to the level of aggregation.

Do time use patterns influence fertility decisions? A cross-national inquiry

Lyn Craig

Birth rates are falling throughout the western world. There is no definitive answer as to why this is so. This paper investigates whether time use analysis could offer a useful perspective. It explores the way parenthood affects time allocation in four countries with different work-family policies, using data from the Multinational Time Use Survey (MTUS) World 5 series to compare the impact of children on adult time in Italy, Germany, Norway and Australia. It considers whether fertility decisions may be influenced by i) the gap between parents and nonparents in total paid and unpaid work undertaken, ii) how paid and unpaid work is divided between mothers and fathers, and iii) the proportion of total male and female work time that is paid before and after parenthood, and conducts multivariate analysis to isolate the effects of nationality, sex and parenthood. The study is very preliminary, but the results suggest that domestic gender inequity and low female workforce participation are associated with lower fertility and may affect parity progression. Further research using more extensive and detailed time use analysis could make an important contribution to understanding of fertility decline.

Multiway data analysis for comparing time use in different countries - Application to time-budgets at different stages of life in six European countries

Mary Fraire

Important time-budget methodological issues are concerned with analysing time use tables, obtainable from time-budget diaries to face the multipurpose nature, the size and the complexity of time-budget data. After a brief introduction to the main time use analysis the paper focuses on the cross-sectional analysis using the explorative multidimensional data analysis. The paper deals with the multiway methods suitable for comparing statistical studies (i.e. countries) when each of them has many variables (i.e. activities) observed on many cases (i.e. categories of population). This article examines an example of application to cross-national differences in time use in six European countries at different stages of life. The results are exemplary of the applicational steps and statistical aspects of the methods proposed rather than definitive findings.

On measuring heterogeneity in the use of time

Jorge Gonzalez-Chapela

This paper discusses methods that permit evaluating the degree of heterogeneity in the use of time. In particular, it is argue that scalar measures of multivariate scatter constitute a general means to assess the degree of withingroup time-use heterogeneity. The techniques are then illustrated by inquiring into the heterogeneity in the allocation of time of retired and employed older adults.


New developments in time technology – projects, data, computing and services