Monday, April 16, 2007

Men do just as much work as women do (just maybe)

Joel Waldfogel tries his best to suppress some latent misogyny on his review of a survey by some economists of 25 nations measuring how much combined work, "market" work and "house" work, men and women do. The study finds, popular to common belief in sociological circles, that men and women, at least on average, and in richer nations, tend to do the same amount of work each day. The end-article caveat seems spot-on, though:

Many women with demanding careers tell me that it is women working full-time in the market, not women overall, who work more than comparable men. This study cannot settle that question because it does not report work time separately for people with and without market jobs. But if women with careers work more than men, while women overall work the same amount as men, then women without market jobs must work less than men. Men can use that argument to hit the couch in the afternoon. Or to end up there at night.
Something tells me that Waldfogel might be looking at some nights on the couch for writing this article.

It's a little disappointing that we don't get some nice reported sub-group analysis, since the research question becomes most interesting in the context of couples who work roughly equally outside the home.

Given the massive pile of laundry in the hallway, the overflowing trash can in the bathroom, and the wads of unvacuumed puppy hair on the floor, I think you can safely assume that Courtney and I do equivalent housework: not much.

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