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Time Use of Mothers and Fathers in Hard Times and Better Times: The US Business Cycle of 2003-10

Levy Economics Institute of Bard College Working Paper No. 696

41 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2011  

Gunseli Berik

University of Utah

Ebru Kongar

Dickinson College - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 8, 2011

Abstract

The US economic crisis and recession of 2007-09 accelerated the convergence of women’s and men’s employment rates as men experienced disproportionate job losses and women’s entry into the labor force gathered pace. Using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data for 2003-10, this study examines whether the narrowing gap in paid work over this period was mirrored in unpaid work, personal care, and leisure time. We find that the gender gap in unpaid work followed a U-pattern, narrowing during the recession but widening afterward. Through segregation analysis, we trace this U-pattern to the slow erosion of gender segregation in housework and, through a standard decomposition analysis of time use by employment status, show that this pattern was mainly driven by movement toward gender-equitable unpaid hours of women and men with the same employment status. In addition, gender inequality in leisure time increased over the business cycle.

Keywords: Economics of Gender, Unemployment, Time Use, Economic Crises

JEL Classification: D13, J6, J16, J22

Suggested Citation

Berik, Gunseli and Kongar, Ebru, Time Use of Mothers and Fathers in Hard Times and Better Times: The US Business Cycle of 2003-10 (November 8, 2011). Levy Economics Institute of Bard College Working Paper No. 696. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1956630 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1956630

Gunseli Berik (Contact Author)

University of Utah ( email )

260 S. Central Campus Dr.
OSH 243
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
801-581-7481 (Phone)

Ebru Kongar

Dickinson College - Department of Economics ( email )

Carlisle, PA 17013
United States

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