Conference Paper International Association for Time-Use Research Conference
How Close Are Couples? The Domestic Division of Labour and Homogamy
16 Aug 2006
The equalisation in education of men and women and the growth in women's employment together suggest that the wide gap in the material circumstances of men and women, and also in their lifestyles, might be diminishing. This implies a growth in homogamy across a range of dimensions, not just in education but also work activity, beliefs and leisure. However, education is probably primary, and it has been disputed that the gender equalisation of education has in fact led to a growth in homogamy. It has been alternatively argued that the growth in education has resulted in increasing choice, so that people might be less likely to marry someone like themselves. We take advantage of two datasets which have diary-based information on time use of both couple members to test the impact of homogamy on similarity of family beliefs, of work patterns, and of leisure activities, while controlling for family circumstances. Further, as one of the datasets is comparative, we relate our findings to national institutional differences in family life.