Warm Days, Warmer Homes? Effects of Temperature Shocks on Time Allocation

57 Pages Posted: 6 May 2024

Date Written: January 15, 2024


This paper is the first to estimate the causal effect of extreme temperatures on time reallocation from a gender perspective. To this end, I exploit exogenous variation in temperature over 12 years within Colombian municipalities. I find that men increase the time allocated to childcare by around 13.4% in the presence of children ages 0 to 5, and by 8% in the presence of children ages 6 to 11 when exposed to heat waves. Meanwhile, women’s time is unresponsive to extreme temperatures. The results suggest that men reallocate time from paid labor to childcare when exposed to extreme heat since fatherhood is leisure-based while motherhood is still deeply linked to routine care. Given that recreational activities are not a substitute for routine care, the increase in men’s childcare hours does not reduce women’s unpaid work load.

Keywords: Time Allocation, Extreme Temperatures, Unpaid Care Work

JEL Classification: D13, J16, J22, Q54

Suggested Citation

Torres-Higuera, Paula, Warm Days, Warmer Homes? Effects of Temperature Shocks on Time Allocation (January 15, 2024). Documento CEDE No. 15, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4816721 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4816721

Paula Torres-Higuera (Contact Author)

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia ( email )

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