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One Germany, Two Worlds of Housework? Examining Single and Partnered Women in the Decade after Unification

SOEPpapers 15, 34 S.

Claudia Geist


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Despite much recent changes in gender relations, housework remains an area where women bear primary responsibility. This paper examines the role of policy and employment context on housework, not only for women who live with partners, but also for single women. I study German women's housework in the decade after unification, which allows me to simultaneously assess the impact of the ideological legacies of the FRG and the GDR, while also studying the role of different levels of labor market participation. I find that women with partners do more housework than singles, and that part-time employees do more housework than those working full-time. The results show no regional differences in singles' housework performance. However, among women with partners, West German women do significantly more housework. The analyses reveal that differences in the housework levels of full-time and part-time workers can be explained by the differences in mechanisms for the two groups. Full-time workers reduce their housework in response to their paid labor involvement to a lesser extent than part-time workers, in particular in East Germany, where women's full-time employment has long been normative.

Keywords: Business taxation, tax reform, tax competition
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