Total Work, Gender and Social Norms

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Daniel S. Hamermesh; Michael C Burda; Philippe Weil;
  • Subject: time use; gender differences; household production; paid work
    • jel: jel:D13 | jel:J22 | jel:J16

Using time-diary data from 25 countries, we demonstrate that there is a negative relationship between real GDP per capita and the female-male difference in total work time per day – the sum of work for pay and work at home. In rich northern countries on four continents,... View more
  • References (21)
    21 references, page 1 of 3

    6For a survey of social norms and economic theory, see Elster (1989). Social norms have been studied, among others, by Akerlof (1980), Jones (1984), Cole et al. (1992), Kandori (1992), Young (1996), Lindbeck (1997), and Lindbeck et al.

    7In this simple story, total conformity only occurs if the desire to conform is infinitely strong. The literature (Bernheim, 1994) has sought ways to obtain full conformity without assuming an infinite cost of deviation. 8Here, and in what follows, we ignore non-negativity constraints for simplicity.

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    George Akerlof, “A Theory of Social Custom, of Which Unemployment May Be One Consequence,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, 94 (June 1980): 749-775.

    Christel Aliaga and Karin Winqvist, “How Women and Men Spend Their Time” Statistics in Focus: Population and Social Conditions. Eurostat, 2003.

    B. Douglas Bernheim, “The Economics of Conformity,” Journal of Political Economy, 102 (October 1994): 841-877.

    Jeff Biddle and Daniel Hamermesh, “Sleep and the Allocation of Time,” Journal of Political Economy, 98 (October 1990): 922-43.

    Michael Bittman and Judy Wacjman, “The Rush Hour: The Character of Leisure Time and Gender Equity,” Social Forces, 79 (September 2000): 165-89.

    C. Mark Blackden and Quentin Wooden, eds., Gender, Time Use, and Poverty in Sub-Saharann Africa. Washington, DC: World Bank, 2006.

    Michael Burda and Philippe Weil, “Blue Laws,” Unpublished Paper, Humboldt University, 2000.

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