It's About Time! Gender, Parenthood, and Household Divisions of Labor Under Different Welfare Regimes

  • Neilson J
  • Stanfors M
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Having young children generally intensifies gendered patterns of time use. During the 1990s, this pattern changed in several Nordic countries, where welfare state arrangements support gender equality and work–family balance more comprehensively than elsewhere. We investigate the impact of parenthood on men’s and women’s time use across welfare state regimes, performing ordinary least squares regressions using data from the Multinational Time Use Study for Germany, Italy, and Canada (N = 57,367 weekdays/53,292 weekends). We find convergence of men’s and women’s time use over the 1990s but uncover no strong evidence of the Nordic pattern emerging elsewhere. Instead, in countries with less comprehensive family policies and less support for gender equality, parenthood continued to reinforce traditional patterns of behavior on weekdays. There is evidence of change on weekends in Germany and Canada, where fathers became more involved domestically, but not in Italy, suggesting certain welfare state regimes may preserve gendered behavior more than others.

Author-supplied keywords

  • division of labor
  • gender
  • parenthood
  • time use
  • welfare state regimes

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  • Jeffrey Neilson

  • Maria Stanfors

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