Social Indicators Research

, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 271–288 | Cite as

Domestic Outsourcing, Housework Shares and Subjective Time Pressure: Gender Differences in the Correlates of Hiring Help

  • Lyn CraigEmail author
  • Janeen Baxter


We use data from matched dual earner couples from the Australian Time Use Survey 2006 (n = 926 couples) to investigate predictors of different forms of domestic outsourcing, and whether using each type of paid help is associated with reduced time in male or female-typed tasks, narrower gender gaps in housework time and/or lower subjective time pressure. Results suggest domestic outsourcing does not substitute for much household time, reduces domestic time for men at least as much as for women, and does not ameliorate gender gaps in domestic labor. The only form of paid help associated with significant change in gender shares of domestic work was gardening and maintenance services, which were associated with women doing a greater share of the household total domestic work. We found no evidence that domestic outsourcing reduced feelings of time pressure. We conclude that domestic outsourcing is not effective in ameliorating time pressures or in changing gender dynamics of unpaid work.


Gender division of labor Domestic outsourcing Housework shares Time pressure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Policy Research CentreUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life CourseUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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