Presentation on theme: "Pia Schober London School of Economics"— Presentation transcript:
1 Pia Schober London School of Economics The parenthood effect: what explains the increase in gender inequality when British couples become parents?Pia SchoberLondon School of Economics
2 MotivationGender inequality in time allocations and wages widen from parenthoodFew studies exploring this transition include changes in paid and domestic workMost only describe change (Gershuny 2003) or based on small non-representative samples (e.g. Singley and Hynes 2005)Mostly US evidenceWhat pre-parental factors can explain change in British couples‘ division of labour after becoming parents?
3 Theories Theories to explain domestic labour division: Neo-classical economic theory (Becker 1981 etc)Resource-bargaining approach (Blau 1964; Manser and Brown 1980; Lundberg and Pollak 1996 etc)Doing gender (West and Fenstermaker 1995)Changing families and heterogeneity in identities:Identity of growing importance (Giddens 1992; Beck 1992)Considerable diversity in women‘s work-family preferences or attitudes (Hakim 2000; Wall 2007)
4 Theoretical framework and hypotheses Extension of rational choice model with sociological identity theory:Gender role identity affects paid and domestic labourMaximisation of household‘s private and public goodsTrade-offs between economic and psychological costs and benefitsCouple‘s division of childcare, housework and paid work after becoming parents expected to be less traditional:H1: The higher women’s pre-parental wage rate relative to their partners’H2: The more egalitarian women’s gender role identitiesH3: The more egalitarian men’s gender role identity
5 Method and Data British Household Panel Survey (1992-2005) Sample of 549 cohabiting couples becoming parentsWomen older than 20 years at birthFocus on 2nd year after birthOrdered and binary logistic regressions of couples‘ childcare, housework and paid work division1/3 missing data imputed through chained equationsNot considered: maternity leave and interdependencies
6 Dependent variablesWhether mother has main childcare responsibility or father equally or more responsibleWomen‘s weekly housework hours as % of couple‘s total in quartile categoriesWomen‘s weekly paid work hours as % of couple‘s total in quartile categoriesMen‘s and women‘s absolute weekly hours in housework and paid work
9 Explanatory variables Couples‘ pre-parental division of housework and paid workWomen‘s and men‘s gender role attitudesWomen‘s hourly earnings as % of couple‘s totalLog of men‘s monthly earnings and women‘s hourly wage rateControls:Both partners‘ education, women‘s age, age differenceRelationship duration, marital status at birthAge and sex of 1st childWhether will have 2nd child within 3 yearsJob dissatisfaction and employment sectorSurvey year and region6 gender role attitudes questions used such as:A pre school child is likely to suffer if his or her mother works…...All in all, family life suffers when the woman has a full time job...A husband’s jobs is to earn money; a wife’s job is to look after the home and family
13 Summary and conclusion Gender role identities account for most of the shift towards more traditional division of labourRelative earnings not significant after accounting for pre-parental division of labourWomen‘s absolute earnings significant for housework division (increasing men‘s housework time)Partner‘s gender role identity more significant than own identity for total housework time
14 UK – US comparison: context matters Greater significance of gender role identities may point to more choice in UK than USMay be due to longer leave and availability of part-time employmentGendered assumption of maternity/paternity leave policies in UK may discourage non-traditional division of labour even when women earn moreMore evidence on associations with individual entitlements and take-up needed
15 Theoretical framework and hypotheses Extension of rational choice model with sociological identity theory:Gender role identity affects paid and domestic labourMaximisation of household‘s private and public goodsTrade-offs between economic and psychological costs and benefitsUw(k, hw, cw, xw) = U(k) − f(Gw)Vw(hw, cw) + xwUm(k, hm, cm, xm) = U(k) − f(Gm)Vm(hm, cm) + xmCouple‘s division of childcare, housework and paid work after becoming parents expected to be less traditional:H1: The higher women’s pre-parental wage rate relative to their partners’H2: The more egalitarian women’s gender role identitiesH3: The more egalitarian men’s gender role identity
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