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Title: Who Does the Dishes? An Analysis of Housework Distribution and Earnings in Same-sex and Opposite-sex Couples
Authors: Ferrandino, Emma
Advisors: Mas, Alex
Department: Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: In the past several decades, the gender composition of the workforce has changed dramatically. Women are not only joining the workforce at higher rates, but they are also increasingly working in high-earning, time consuming fields that were once male dominated. Historically, women have taken on most of the responsibilities around the home, which raises the question: who is picking up the slack as women spend more of their time at work? The answer depends not only on the woman’s relationship status, but also the sex of her partner. According to data from the American Time Use Survey (2003-2019), women in opposite-sex relationships still spend more time on housework than their male counterparts regardless of their status as the higher earner in the relationship. However, women in same-sex relationships tend to spend an average of 32 minutes less on housework every day than their heterosexual1 counterparts. This suggests that gender-based specialization may play an important role in the housework gap between men and women in cohabiting relationships. Furthermore, additional time spent on housework is associated with lower earnings for straight women, which could indicate that gender-based household specialization is related to the gender wage gap. Policies that address this could model Sweden’s tax subsidy on hiring domestic workers or China’s new civil code granting restitution for unpaid housework in divorce proceedings.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2021

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