Housework Policies and Their Implications for Women's Employment

Liat Raz-Yurovich, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Why is it important that households will outsource housework? Should governments act to replace unpaid domestic production with market, state-subsidized or state-provided substitutes? The outsourcing of housework tasks has the potential of improving work-life balance, because the time invested in housework can then be devoted by the spouses to other tasks, such as labor market activities. The current research suggests focusing on "housework policies", which were almost overlooked by current family-policy research. Such policies encourage the outsourcing of housework by households. By focusing on three housework schemes from France, Belgium and Austria, this study will investigate whether the growing availability of low-skilled women who work in services that are close substitutes to household production improve the work-life balance among highly skilled women and increase their employment rates and their working hours. This will be done by using the European Labor Force Survey and by employing time-series analyses.

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 Presented in Session P8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, and Inequality/Gender, Race and Ethnicity