Intergenerational mobility of housework time in the United Kingdom
12 May 2017
This paper analyzes the relationship between parents’ time devoted to housework and the time devoted to housework by their children. Using data from the Multinational Time Use Study for the UK, we find positive intergenerational correlations in housework for both parents, indicating that the more time parents devote to housework, the more time their children will devote to housework. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, we find that a higher father–mother housework ratio is positively related to a higher child–mother housework ratio, even after allowing for individual fixed-effects. In order to address the potential exacerbation of errors-in-variables arising from the fixed-effects specification, we instrument the father–mother ratio of housework using father’s and mother’s lagged weekly working hours. The Instrumental-Variable estimates fully support the fixed-effects estimates, and suggest that the latter should be regarded as a lower bound. We also present evidence of the link between housework during adolescence and during adulthood, which may indicate that housework time during adulthood depends on the housework time during childhood, which may also be affected by parents’ housework time. Our results contribute to the field of the intergenerational mobility of behaviors.
Review of Economics of the Household
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