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What if women earned more than their spouse? An experimental investigation of work division in couples

Abstract : Female specialization on household work and male specialization on labor-market work is a widely observed phenomenon across time and countries. Gender differences regarding characteristics (preferences, productivity) and context (wage rates, social norms) are generally recognized to explain this fact. We experimentally investigate work division by true co-habiting couples participating in a newly developed specialization task. Efficiency in this task comes at the cost of inequality, giving higher earnings to the “advantaged” player. We compare behavior when men (or women) are in the advantaged position, which correspond to the traditional (or power) couple case where he (or she) earns more. We show that women do not contribute more than men to the household public good whatever the situation. This result allows us to rule-out some of the standard explanations of the work division puzzle.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01376912
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 8:46:38 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 11:58:21 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, January 6, 2017 - 2:16:55 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01376912, version 1

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Francois Cochard, Hélène Couprie, Astrid Hopfensitz. What if women earned more than their spouse? An experimental investigation of work division in couples. 2015. ⟨hal-01376912⟩

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