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Modelling domestic work time

Abstract

What variables should be used as regressors in models of the length of time which people spend doing unpaid domestic work? To most economists, the answer would be straightforward: use the variables which are implied by a theoretical model of household time allocation (e.g. Becker's). This paper shows that this strategy has not been followed, explores why this is so, and makes some recommendations about variable specification and the treatment of paid market work time in particular. The arguments are illustrated using regressions based on UK time budget data for the mid-1980s.

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Presented at the European Society for Population Economics Eighth Annual Congress, Tilburg, The Netherlands, 2–4 June 1994. This paper draws on research on ‘The distribution of full income in the UK’ funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, and carried out in conjunction with J. Gershuny, B. Halpin, and S. Ringen. Jenkins's research was also supported by a Norman Chester Senior Research Fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford. Thanks to J. Gershuny, A. Kapteyn, A. Klevmarken, and two anonymous referees for helpful comments and discussions. Responsibility for the analysis and conclusions expressed lies entirely with the authors.

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Jenkins, S.P., O'Leary, N.C. Modelling domestic work time. J Popul Econ 8, 265–279 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00185253

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00185253

Keywords

  • Theoretical Model
  • Variable Specification
  • Time Allocation
  • Work Time
  • Domestic Work