Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #472

Making Dough or Baking Dough? Spousal Housework Responsibilities in Germany, 1992-2011

by Vivien Procher, Nolan Ritter and Colin Vance

RWI, 02/2014, 30 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-532-4 DOI: 10.4419/86788532



Drawing on German household data from 1992 to 2011, this paper analyzes how couples allocate housework against the backdrop of three questions: (1) Does an individual’s contribution to household income - both in absolute and relative terms - influence his or her contribution to housework? (2) If so, does the magnitude of this influence differ by gender? and (3) How important are traditional gender roles on housework allocation? We address these issues by applying panel quantile regression models and find that as both the share and absolute level of income increase, the amount of housework undertaken decreases, with the latter effect being roughly equal across genders. At the same time, traditional gender roles also appear to dictate housework allocation, which is evidenced by women increasing their housework if they earn more than their partner.

JEL-Classification: D13, J16, J22

Keywords: Housework; income; gender; longitudinal study; quantile panel regression

Published as:

Procher, V., N. Ritter and C. Vance (2017), Housework Allocation in Germany: The Role of Income and Gender Identity. Social Science Quarterly (forthcoming)