Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 299–318 | Cite as

Exploring the relationship between parents’ and children’s housework time in Spain

  • Begoña Álvarez
  • Daniel Miles-TouyaEmail author


Intergenerational transmission has been successfully employed in economic research to explain the persistence of certain economic behaviors across generations. This paper evaluates the relevance of this transmission process in the formation of gender roles during childhood. In particular, we analyze the relationship between parents’ and children’s housework allocation patterns. We propose a simple theoretical model that predicts that parents with a strong adherence to gender to traditional gender norms—as proxied by their division of household labor—are more likely to allocate housework to children in a way that reflects stereotypes of men’s and women’s domestic tasks. The empirical application is carried out with data from the 2002–2003 Spanish Time Use Survey. The sample restricts to two-parent households with at least one child aged 10–17 years. We find a significant positive correlation between a more egalitarian parents’ allocation of housework and a less asymmetrical distribution of domestic chores between sons and daughters.


Time allocation Gender identity Social norms Intergenerational transmission 

JEL Codes

J16 J22 C35 



Financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation grant no. ECO2008-05771 and from Consellería de Innovación e Industria (Xunta de Galicia) grant no. PGIDIT06PXIB300217PR is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Economía Aplicada, Facultad de CC. Económicas y EmpresarialesUniversidad de VigoVigoSpain

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