Income and housework: a propensity score matching analysis of gender differences

Sarah Ludwig-Dehm, Pennsylvania State University

This paper examines the relationship between individual’s income relative to their partner’s and their amount of housework. Prior research finds inconsistent results concerning this relationship, especially for men. Using data from the American Time Use Survey, I study the association between the two concepts in a counterfactual framework. A propensity score matching analysis is conducted separately for men and women, investigating whether the theoretical considerations of Bargaining Theory or Doing Gender are better suited for predicting the outcomes. Additionally, I use a sensitivity analysis to assess the bias of the estimated effects due to unobserved confounding variables, like gender ideologies. The findings of the propensity score models suggest that relative income does not affect men’s amount of housework. Results for women can be best explained by Bargaining Theory, meaning that women do less housework the higher their relative earnings are.

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Presented in Session 54: Gender equity and division of labor