NZWRI Seminar Series

Does Unemployment Make Better Fathers? The Effect of Job Loss on Fathers’ Time Investment in the Household

18 March 2020
10:30am - 11:30am
AUT - Sir Paul Reeves Building

Astrid Pape, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin

Commonly described as the “gender care gap“, there is a persistent gender difference in the division of child care and housework responsibilities within households in most developed countries. Existing literature on paternal involvement and parental leave take-up largely suffers from sample size and selection issues. Hence, this paper provides evidence on the effect of an exogenous shock on paternal availability, through a negative employment shock, on the allocation of domestic work within couples. We find that while both child care and housework significantly increase in the short-run on regular weekdays, we do not see any similar shifts on weekends. While event studies show that the increase in housework is persistent and still visible five years after the job loss - driven by fathers who delay their return into employment and whose partner is active on the labor market - this is not the case for paternal child care. The findings are consistent with theories about time availability as well as relative bargaining power within households.

Co-author: Juliane Hennecke, NZWRI, AUT.

About the Presenter

Astrid Pape is a PhD student at Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin at the Chair of Empirical Economics. Her research interests are family and education economics, and applied econometrics.

She is also chair of the board of the Berlin Network for Labor Market Research (BeNA).

To find out more about Astrid Pape, see her homepage.