The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd


  • Clair Brown
  • Amelia Preece
Reference work entry


Housework consists of childrearing and the satisfaction of basic human needs through the provision of meals, clothing and shelter within the home. The functioning of the home economy ensures reproduction while it maintains adults so that they can engage in paid work outside the home. Housework is an essential part of an economic and social system because it not only provides essential services but also helps to maintain the unequal class structure. Within the home, children learn their place in the social structure while they prepare for their place in the labour market.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clair Brown
    • 1
  • Amelia Preece
    • 1
  1. 1.