12. Juni 2020

SOEP Brown Bag Seminar

Does Unemployment Make Better Fathers? The Effect of Job Loss on Fathers’ Time Investment in the Household


12. Juni 2020
12:30 - 13:30


Juliane Hennecke (NZ Work Research Institute and Auckland University of Technology), Astrid Pape (FU Berlin)
Commonly described as the “gender care gap“, there is a persistent gender difference in the division of child care and housework responsibilities within households in most developed countries. Existing literature on paternal child care involvement and parental leave take-up largely suffers from sample size and selection issues. This paper provides evidence on the effect of an exogenous shock on paternal availability, through a negative employment shock, on the allocation of domestic work within couples. We find that paternal child care and housework significantly increase in the short-run on regular weekdays, while we do not see any similar shifts on Sundays. Effects are positive and persistent for fathers who remain unemployed or have a working partner. Employed mothers react by reducing their time allocated to domestic work, while not employed mothers even increase their time investments. The findings are consistent with theories about time availability as well as relative bargaining power within households.