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Women's time allocation


Women are still doing the majority of housework. In the literature, at least three theoretical currents are found to explain the inequalities between men and women in the allocation of time in paid and unpaid work. According to the human capital theory, these differences would be explained by the comparative advantages between the members of the couple, resulting from specialization (Becker, 1981).


For bargaining models, the allocation of time in paid and unpaid work would be the result of conflict and not economic rationality: the greater the bargaining power, the less domestic activity the family member would engage in. In theories based on norms and institutions, it is recognized that the division of housework within the household would be strongly determined by psychological and sociological aspects of gender identity. The unequal division of housework would then be a means by which gender roles appropriate to society's norms would be demonstrated and reaffirmed.


This unequal division, which is based on the supposed notion that women would have advantages in carrying out housework, has significant consequences on women's wages, career opportunities and has also been associated with low fertility rates in some countries.

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