The Unequal Division of Household Labor: Gender Roles and the Puzzle of Positive Correlation between Fertility and Female Labor-Force Participation

Almudena Sevilla-Sanz, Brown University
Joost De Laat, Brown University

Complete paper: This paper attempts to reconcile the low fertility - low female labor force participation observed among some industrialized countries with the high fertility – high female labor force participation in others. We develop a theoretical model that sheds light on this puzzle by focusing on the potential for rigidities in the allocation of time within the household. The data used in our empirical analysis are based on the 1994 survey ''Family and Changing Gender Roles,'' and were collected under the auspices of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP). Using a principal components index of such attitudes to create an indicator variable, which groups countries into ones whose husbands’ attitudes are favorable to housework and those who are unfavorable, preliminary results provide significant and sizable support for both predictions by our theoretical model.

Presented in Session 38: Resource Allocation within and across Households and Generations