How long is the second (Plus First) shift? Gender differences in paid, unpaid, and total work time in Australia and the United States

Liana C. Sayer, Paula England, Michael Bittman, Suzanne M. Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We use recent time diary data for the U.S. and Australia to examine the gender gap in total work time (unpaid work plus paid work). We focus on whether the gender gap in total work time varies by couples' employment and parental status. We use two alternative measures of unpaid work, which differ in whether unpaid work includes work reported as a secondary activity. Contrasting sharply with the image painted by Hochschild (1989), when we combine all types of families, we find little gender gap in total work hours (paid plus unpaid), whether or not secondary activities are included. However, the gender gap varies dramatically by family type. When couples have preschool-age children and both men and women are employed full-time, women's total work is 4 to 5 hours more per week than men's in the U.S. and 3 to 7 hours more in Australia (with the larger gap obtained when time in secondary activities is included). Women's excess total work is even higher in unconventional families where men are not employed full-time. On the other hand, where women are not employed and men are, men work substantially more total (paid plus unpaid) hours than women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-545
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Comparative Family Studies
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

Keywords

  • Australia
  • Gender and work
  • Housework
  • Unpaid work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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