Sons, Daughters, and Parents’ Division of Market Work and Housework

Matthias Pollmann-Schult, Social Science Research Center Berlin

Children play an important role in shaping the division of labor within couples. This study examines whether the impact of parenthood on the division of domestic and paid work is moderated by child gender, and thus extends previous work showing that child gender affects various family processes. The empirical analysis applied fixed effects models and used data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (1984–2011, N = 7,572). My analysis showed that mothers and fathers of boys work longer hours than parents of girls. This effect of child gender, however, is much stronger for women than for men. Moreover, fathers and mothers of a same-sex child spent more time on housework than parents of an opposite-sex child. In all, my analysis revealed that having a girl is associated with a more traditional division of paid and unpaid work than having a boy. However, the child gender effect on time devoted to market and housework attenuated over time.

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Presented in Session 200: Gender and the Allocation of Time to Work and Family