Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 159–178 | Cite as

Home production and wages: evidence from the American Time Use Survey

  • Joni HerschEmail author


Using data from the American Time Use Survey for the years 2003–2006, this paper finds that housework has a negative relation with wages for both women and men. The negative relation between housework time and wages is not likely to arise from omitted working conditions that are correlated with housework, nor from omitted effort. For women, the negative relation between housework and wages appears in most occupations, including professional and managerial occupations. The connection of housework time to the ‘lack of interest’ argument proposed by defendants in class action sex discrimination cases is examined and is not supported by the evidence.


Home production Housework Time use Wage differentials Lack of interest 

JEL Classification

D13 J22 J31 



Many thanks to Shoshana Grossbard, Dan Hamermesh, Amy Nickens, and anonymous referees for helpful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vanderbilt Law SchoolNashvilleUSA

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