Market hours, household work, child care, and wage rates of partners: An empirical analysis

The aim of this paper is to provide new evidence on the effect of partners’ wages on partners’ allocation of time. Earlier studies concluded that wage rates are an important determinant of partners’ hours of market and non-market work and also that house work may lower married women’s wage rates. However, the bulk of earlier literature in this area failed to account for the endogeneity of wages or the simultaneity of partners’ time allocation choices. Here we take a reduced form approach and specify a ten simultaneous equations model of wage rates, employment and hours of market work, house work and childcare of parents. Non-participants are included in the model. We exploit a rich time use dataset for France to estimate the model. We find that the own wage affects positively own market hours and negatively own house work and childcare hours. The wage of the father has a significantly negative effect on the mother’s market hours while her wage rate has a significantly positive effect on his house work hours.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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