Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics
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Department of Economics, Uppsala University Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, Uppsala University

No 1998:22:
Marriage, Housework and Fairness

Frida Widmalm

Abstract: I explore the effects of a preference for fairness in the division of housework between two spouses in two different models of household time allocation. Both in the model with agreeing spouses and the model with noncooperative spouses, such a preference has an equalising effect on the division of labour between the partners. In the noncooperative setting, the wife gets better off and the husband worse off in terms of private consumption. I also argue that both the allocation process and the degree of fairness consideration matter for policy outcomes and discuss three policy measures in relation to these two factors.

Keywords: Fairness; housework; unpaid work; household production; household time allocation; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C72; D13; D63; (follow links to similar papers)

39 pages, October 15, 1998

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