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Gendered divisions of labour and the intergenerational transmission of inequality

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  1. Gendered divisions of labour and the intergenerational transmission of inequality Jonathan Gershuny Centre for Time Use Research Department of Sociology University of Oxford For GENET Conference, December 2009

  2. This Talk • Proposition: • National systems of regulation of access to work have effects on life chances which differ markedly by gender and class-of origin. • Based on two unpublished papers: • Man-Yee Kan, Oriel Sullivan, JG; “Gender Convergence in Domestic Work” (2009) • JG; “Dynamics of Social Position” (2008) Kan, Sullivan and Gershuny are in the Sociology Department and Centre for Time Use Research, University of Oxford.

  3. Definitions • Portable orEmbodied(vs Fixed)capitals: • “human” (Becker, Mincer) or • (1) “economic”, (2) social, (3) cultural (Bourdieu) • Embodied capitals formed: • In household of origin… • …then through the formal educational system… • …and recursively through practices of daily life. • time-use gives empirical estimates of practices • Embodied capital dynamics  life chances • Good/bad outcomes result from current capitals • Capitals indicate advantages and outcomes • Hence, new approach to intergenerational social mobility.

  4. The day and the lifecourse Theoretical intuition: Daily choices among paid work, unpaid work, leisure/consumption  capitals form at differential rates  differentiate individual life-chances • consequences for transmission of position to children

  5. Two steps (two data sources) • STEP 1 (Multinational Time Use Study) • Typologies of national systems of work regulation and gender ideologies… • …are strongly associated with different historical changes in work patterns • STEP 2 (British Household Panel Study) • Lifecourse changes in gender work-sharing… • …polarise class mobility and life-chances

  6. The Multinational Time Use Study @ December 2009

  7. Welfare Regimes and Gender Ideologies • liberal market regimes: • UK, the USA, Canada and Australia • modified breadwinner gender ideology, women both paid work & caring roles • social democratic nordic regimes: • Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden • dual earner family model, high employment rate of both women and men • conservative/corporatist regimes: • Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria • weak familist gender ideology, men primary breadwinners, women carers • southern regime: (later addition to typology) • Spain, Italy and Israel • traditional familist gender ideology, strongeremphasis on women’s family role

  8. Step 1. Public regulation matters Note: • corporatist, liberal and nordic groups all start out rather similar in the 1960s • Gender equality in total work (“isowork”) Implications: • Public policy has a real effect on gendered balance between paid and unpaid work • Gender differentials in rates of accumulation of economic capital affected by regime choices.

  9. Human capital: the “Essex Score” Data from British Household Panel Study • 5000 UK households, 1991—present Variables in the model: • Age, age squared, Education dummies • MOW scores (mean occupational wage, 2 digit categories, standardised to 0-100) • Work, family care months over past 4 years • Dummies for top MOW decile and deciles 7 to 9 • Product of MOW dummies and age, age squared • Sex only in selection equation Kan and Gershuny ISER WP 2006-03

  10. BHPS longitudinal evidence

  11. Contrasting “leavers” and “stayers” • Consider all women in employment at time of BHPS interview before first birth: • “leavers”—women not in employment the year after first birth. • “stayers”—women in employment at all of six subsequent annual interviews. • Note third intermediate category: non-leavers with various other post-birth strategies. (details of regression modelling available on request)

  12. Alternative household work strategies

  13. Step 2. Gender balance matters UK as example of liberal regime lacking strong childcare & paternity leave regulations: • For women with parents in top quintile: • Income (humcap) penalties falling from the 1930s to 1950s birth cohorts, to around 20%. • For women with parents in bottom quintile: • penalties rising from 1920s to 1950s birth cohorts, from 40% to 70% 7 yrs after birth.

  14. L/S penalties interact with parents’ class situation and regimes Conclude: genderedpolarisation in intergen. transmission of life chances… • … results from choices made under constraints of national system of regulation • …and this effect is intensified by concurrent rise in marital dissolution: • He leaves with the human capital • She’s left with the baby… • …and another child grows up in poverty.