Union History and Division of Domestic Work Between Partners
Union breakdown has become a more frequent event. It is a profound upheaval that involves a reorganization of life in both the domestic and occupational spheres. Separation may also challenge people’s expectations and ideals about living in a union. The aim of this chapter is to see whether the division of housework differs between the first and subsequent union.
To answer this apparently simple question we need to address several methodological issues. The first is the possible endogeneity of union order, which calls for the use of instrumental variables. The second is reliability of self-reported measures of labour division compared with time-use indicators. Our results show that although the statements made by male and female respondents differ, the presence of a partner during the interview is a good way to verify the consistency of replies. Specialization in domestic tasks increases with union duration whereas parenting tasks and parental decision-making are relatively stable over time. In men’s second unions, the division of domestic tasks is more egalitarian than in their first unions, but no difference is observed between women’s first and second unions.
KeywordsCouple Housework Repartnering Division of labour Remarriage
- Algava, É. (2002). Quel temps pour les activités parentales? Études et Résultats, 62.Google Scholar
- Bauer, D. (2007). Entre maison, enfant(s) et travail: les diverses formes d’arrangement dans les couples. Études et Résultats, 570.Google Scholar
- Bozon, M. (1991). Women and age gap between spouses: An accepted domination? Population, An English Selection, 3, 113–148.Google Scholar
- Brossolet, C. (1992). Fondements de la division du travail dans les modèles économiques du ménage, édition Arguments.Google Scholar
- Brousse, C. (1999). La répartition du travail domestique entre conjoints reste très largement spécialisée et inégale. France, portrait social 1999–2000. Paris: INSEE, pp. 137–151.Google Scholar
- Juster, F. T., & Stafford, F. P. (1991). The allocation of time: empirical findings, behavioral models and problems of measurement. Journal of Economic literature, 29, 471–522.Google Scholar
- Ponthieux, S., & Schreiber, A. (2006). Dans les couples de salariés, la répartition du travail domestique reste inégale. Données sociales, la société française, INSEE, pp. 43–51.Google Scholar