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July 25, 2018

Cluster-Seminar Public Finances and Living Conditions

Care & Careers: Housework Distribution and Occupational Prestige


July 25, 2018
12:30 - 13:30


Anna J. Schwartz Room
Room 5.2.010
Mohrenstraße 58
10117 Berlin


Claire Samtleben, Kai-Uwe Müller

Despite increasing female labor market participation over the past decades care duties are hardly been shared more equally within couples. We challenge existing approaches (time availability theory, relative resources approach) on the formation of care arrangements with the human capital theory focusing on the consequences of an unequal distribution of housework. We argue that couples make simultaneous decisions on the time spent in market and care work. A more equal care distribution frees women’s time resources and enhances their abilities to participate in the labor market and have more successful employment careers. Based on GSOEP data we investigate the effects of different care work distributions within heterosexual couple households on their employment probability and occupational success. In this version of the paper we estimate fixed effect regressions also that control for individual and household characteristics as well as general time trends. Preliminary results show that the total amount of housework and its distribution between partners significantly affect, both, the labor market participation and the occupational prestige of men and women.