Research Paper GeNet Working Papers 41
Gender equality and outsourcing of domestic work, childbearing, and relationship stability among British couples
This study investigates whether gender inequality in the division of housework and childcare may be an obstacle to childbearing and relationship stability among different groups of British couples. Furthermore, it explores whether outsourcing of domestic labour ameliorates any negative effects of domestic work inequality. The empirical investigation uses event-history analysis based on fourteen waves (1992-2005) of the British Household Panel Study. The findings show that the association between couples’ domestic work arrangements and family outcomes vary by the presence of children, women’s employment and gender role attitudes. Gender inequality in domestic work reduces relationship stability among egalitarian childless women and among all mothers. For first and second births as outcomes, the association is weaker and depends on the level of inequality and women’s employment status, respectively. Domestic outsourcing is generally not significant for these family outcomes with the exception of formal childcare which is positively associated with the risk of a second birth.