An Empirical Analysis of the Time Allocation of Italian Couples

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 08-111/3

37 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2008

See all articles by Hans Bloemen

Hans Bloemen

VU University Amsterdam; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute; Netspar

Silvia Pasqua

University of Turin - Department of Economics

Elena Stancanelli

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Date Written: November 13, 2008


This paper analyzes the time allocation of Italian spouses to paid work, childcare and household work. The literature suggests that Italian husbands contribute the least to unpaid household work, relative to other European countries, while Italian women have the lowest market employment rates. We model the three different time uses simultaneously for the two spouses within each household, allowing for corner solutions and correlations in the unobservables across the system of six equations. To estimate the model we use data drawn from the 2002-03 Italian Time Use Survey, combined with earnings information taken from the 2002 Bank of Italy Survey. We conclude that Italian husbands' time allocation responds to their wife's attributes: in particular, husbands' housework time increases with the wage of their wife. On the contrary, the own wage effect is significantly negative for housework of women. Childcare time of fathers increases with own wage and with the presence of small children and this is true both for weekdays and weekends.

Keywords: Time allocation, work behaviour, household economics

JEL Classification: D1, D13, J21

Suggested Citation

Bloemen, Hans and Pasqua, Silvia and Stancanelli, Elena, An Empirical Analysis of the Time Allocation of Italian Couples (November 13, 2008). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 08-111/3, Available at SSRN: or

Hans Bloemen (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072

Tinbergen Institute

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS


P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE

Silvia Pasqua

University of Turin - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Po, 53
Torino, 10124

Elena Stancanelli

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014


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