Examining the Gender Gap in Household Chores

A new study led by Francine D. Blau, the Francis Perkins Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and professor of economics at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, analyzed the gender division of nonmarket work, comparing immigrant and native-born men and women.

Nonmarket work refers to unpaid work people do outside their paid jobs, like time spent in housework and childcare. Using data from the 2003-17 American Time Use Survey, and by incorporating data on source country gender equality, the authors found smaller gender gaps in nonmarket work for first-generation immigrants, though still larger on average than gender gaps between native-born men and women.

“Overall, we find that immigrants have a more traditional division of labor than natives in that, even controlling for their characteristics, immigrant women tend to allocate more time to nonmarket work than their native counterparts, while immigrant men tend to allocate less,” the researchers wrote. “Women from more gender-equal countries spend fewer hours per week on household labor than their counterparts from less gender-equal countries, allocating less time to both housework and childcare. Men from more gender-equal countries spend more hours per week on nonmarket work compared to men from less gender-equal countries, both for housework and childcare.”

Dr. Blau is a graduate of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

The full study, “Culture and Gender Allocation of Tasks: Source Country Characteristics and the Division of Non-Market Work Among US Immigrants,” was published in the Review of Economics of the Household. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply