Monday, 13 May 2013

Do fathers work fewer paid hours when their female partner is the main or an equal earner?

an article by Shireen Kanji (University of Basel, Switzerland) published in Work Employment & Society Volume 27 Number 2 (April 2013)


Mothers are increasingly likely to be the main or equal earners in heterosexual couples with children.

This study assesses the impact of the mother being the main or an equal earner on her partner’s hours of work. The performance of normative gender roles predicts that fathers increase their hours whereas specialization theories predict they will decrease their hours. Another possibility is that fathers work fewer hours because they have a relatively weak labour market position.

We test these alternative propositions using panel data on co-resident parents from the UK’s Millennium Cohort Survey. The results show that fathers with a female partner who is the main earner work considerably fewer hours than other fathers. This also holds for equal-earner fathers to a lesser extent.

In part, fathers work fewer hours because their partner is the main or an equal earner, but they are also less likely to work in occupations entailing long hours.

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