The parenthood effect: what explains
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The parenthood effect: what explains the increase in gender inequality when British couples become parents?. Pia Schober London School of Economics. Motivation. Gender inequality in time allocations and wages widen from parenthood

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The parenthood effect what explains the increase in gender inequality when british couples become parents

The parenthood effect: what explains the increase in gender inequality when British couples become parents?

Pia Schober

London School of Economics


Motivation

Motivation

  • Gender inequality in time allocations and wages widen from parenthood

  • Few studies exploring this transition include changes in paid and domestic work

  • Most only describe change (Gershuny 2003) or based on small non-representative samples (e.g. Singley and Hynes 2005)

  • Mostly US evidence

    What pre-parental factors can explain change in British couples‘ division of labour after becoming parents?


The parenthood effect what explains the increase in gender inequality when british couples become parents

Theories

Theories to explain domestic labour division:

  • Neo-classical economic theory (Becker 1981 etc)

  • Resource-bargaining approach (Blau 1964; Manser and Brown 1980; Lundberg and Pollak 1996 etc)

  • Doing gender (West and Fenstermaker 1995)

    Changing families and heterogeneity in identities:

  • Identity of growing importance (Giddens 1992; Beck 1992)

  • Considerable diversity in women‘s work-family preferences or attitudes (Hakim 2000; Wall 2007)


Theoretical framework and hypotheses

Theoretical framework and hypotheses

Extension of rational choice model with sociological identity theory:

  • Gender role identity affects paid and domestic labour

  • Maximisation of household‘s private and public goods

  • Trade-offs between economic and psychological costs and benefits

    Couple‘s division of childcare, housework and paid work after becoming parents expected to be less traditional:

  • H1: The higher women’s pre-parental wage rate relative to their partners’

  • H2: The more egalitarian women’s gender role identities

  • H3: The more egalitarian men’s gender role identity


Method and data

Method and Data

  • British Household Panel Survey (1992-2005)

  • Sample of 549 cohabiting couples becoming parents

  • Women older than 20 years at birth

  • Focus on 2nd year after birth

  • Ordered and binary logistic regressions of couples‘ childcare, housework and paid work division

  • 1/3 missing data imputed through chained equations

  • Not considered: maternity leave and interdependencies


Dependent variables

Dependent variables

  • Whether mother has main childcare responsibility or father equally or more responsible

  • Women‘s weekly housework hours as % of couple‘s total in quartile categories

  • Women‘s weekly paid work hours as % of couple‘s total in quartile categories

  • Men‘s and women‘s absolute weekly hours in housework and paid work


Change in couples division of labour

Change in couples‘ division of labour


The parenthood effect what explains the increase in gender inequality when british couples become parents

Change in paid work and housework hours


Explanatory variables

Explanatory variables

  • Couples‘ pre-parental division of housework and paid work

  • Women‘s and men‘s gender role attitudes

  • Women‘s hourly earnings as % of couple‘s total

  • Log of men‘s monthly earnings and women‘s hourly wage rate

    Controls:

  • Both partners‘ education, women‘s age, age difference

  • Relationship duration, marital status at birth

  • Age and sex of 1st child

  • Whether will have 2nd child within 3 years

  • Job dissatisfaction and employment sector

  • Survey year and region


The parenthood effect what explains the increase in gender inequality when british couples become parents

Results


The parenthood effect what explains the increase in gender inequality when british couples become parents

Results


The parenthood effect what explains the increase in gender inequality when british couples become parents

Results


Summary and conclusion

Summary and conclusion

  • Gender role identities account for most of the shift towards more traditional division of labour

  • Relative earnings not significant after accounting for pre-parental division of labour

  • Women‘s absolute earnings significant for housework division (increasing men‘s housework time)

  • Partner‘s gender role identity more significant than own identity for total housework time


Uk us comparison context matters

UK – US comparison: context matters

  • Greater significance of gender role identities may point to more choice in UK than US

  • May be due to longer leave and availability of part-time employment

  • Gendered assumption of maternity/paternity leave policies in UK may discourage non-traditional division of labour even when women earn more

  • More evidence on associations with individual entitlements and take-up needed


Theoretical framework and hypotheses1

Theoretical framework and hypotheses

Extension of rational choice model with sociological identity theory:

  • Gender role identity affects paid and domestic labour

  • Maximisation of household‘s private and public goods

  • Trade-offs between economic and psychological costs and benefits

    Uw(k, hw, cw, xw) = U(k) − f(Gw)Vw(hw, cw) + xw

    Um(k, hm, cm, xm) = U(k) − f(Gm)Vm(hm, cm) + xm

    Couple‘s division of childcare, housework and paid work after becoming parents expected to be less traditional:

  • H1: The higher women’s pre-parental wage rate relative to their partners’

  • H2: The more egalitarian women’s gender role identities

  • H3: The more egalitarian men’s gender role identity


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