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Who will change the “baby?” Examining the power of gender in an experimental setting

Leanne Roncolato () and Alex Roomets
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Leanne Roncolato: Franklin and Marshall College
Alex Roomets: Franklin and Marshall College

Review of Economics of the Household, 2020, vol. 18, issue 3, No 11, 823-852

Abstract: Abstract We conduct an experiment designed to test the impact of a gender-loaded frame on the distribution of labor between care and market work. In an unframed treatment, one activity is labeled a “Multiplication Activity” and a second activity is labeled a “Monitoring Activity”. In a framed treatment, these same activities are labeled as an “Employment Activity” and a “Care Activity”. A difference between these treatments should come from the labeling of the activities, and not the nature of the activities. We find that men are more likely than women to fail at the monitoring/care activity in the framed treatment when both activities are done simultaneously by one individual for the first time. During paired rounds, we find that, in the framed treatment, women in mixed-gender pairs are more likely to specialize in monitoring/care and men are more likely to specialize in multiplication/employment. We do not find this in the unframed treatment. Our design controls for factors typically used to explain the gendered distribution of work, such as differences in earnings, income, or human capital.

Keywords: Gender; Care work; Household specialization; Multitasking; Lab experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D13 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s11150-020-09490-2

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