Family Dynamics of Domestic Labour across Short- and Long-Distance Relocations

Sergi Vidal, University of Queensland
Francisco Perales, University of Queensland
Janeen Baxter, University of Queensland

Family relocations within developed countries have well-established gendered consequences in the realm of paid employment, with men’s careers improving and women’s careers deteriorating. However, the literature has been opaque as to their potential effects on other life domains, including partnered men’s and women’s relative shares of domestic labour. We address this gap in knowledge by theorising and examining how within-couple gender gaps in domestic work evolve across short- and long-distance family relocations over the life course, paying attention to the over-time dynamics before and after event occurrence. To accomplish this, we use panel data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey and fixed-effect panel regression models. Our results indicate that family relocations increase women’s but not men’s housework hours, enlarging within-couple gender gaps in housework hours. These effects are channelled by shifts in women’s employment situation and fertility episodes. We observe both anticipation and adaption effects.

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Presented in Session 188: Determinants and Correlates of Domestic Gender Equality