Couples' Time Together: Complementarities in Production Versus Complementarities in Consumption

31 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2014

See all articles by Hani Mansour

Hani Mansour

University of Colorado at Denver - Department of Economics

Terra McKinnish

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics

Abstract

Economists have previously suggested that gains from marriage can be generated by complementarities in production (gains from specialization and exchange) or by complementarities in consumption (gains from joint consumption of household public goods and joint time consumption). This paper uses the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) from 2003-2011 to test whether couples that engage in less specialization (are more similar in hours of market work) spend more time together. We find that among married couples without young children, those with a greater difference in weekly hours of work between husband and wife spend less time together on non-working weekend days. Importantly, we find that this relationship is quite symmetric between couples in which the husband works greater hours and couples in which the wife works greater hours. We do not find evidence of a relationship between specialization and couple time together among couples with young children.

Keywords: time use, home production, joint consumption

JEL Classification: J12, J13, J16

Suggested Citation

Mansour, Hani and McKinnish, Terra, Couples' Time Together: Complementarities in Production Versus Complementarities in Consumption. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7848. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2374629

Hani Mansour (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Denver - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 181
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80218
United States

Terra McKinnish

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Economics ( email )

Campus Box 256
Boulder, CO 80309-0256
United States

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