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Couples in lockdown, "La vie en rose" ? Evidence from France

Hugues Champeaux () and Francesca Marchetta
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Hugues Champeaux: CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne

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Abstract: Stay-at-home policies due to the Covid-19 pandemic have drastically increased housework and childcare. During the lockdown, couples were harshly challenged by this novel situation which could notably redistribute roles and/or could also lead to intrahousehold conflicts. In this paper, we use individual data collected from an online survey on French partnered women during the confinement of the 2020 Spring to investigate the lockdown's effects on the household chores allocation and tensions in the couple. We show that the lockdown did not offer an opportunity to strongly renegotiate the housework and childcare division between the partners, as women still did the lion's share during this period. Men only changed their participation in household chores when they became a "quasi-leisure" because of the pandemic (as for shopping or playing with child). We also document that an unbalanced division of the increased household chores during the lockdown, in particular on cleaning and childcare, is directly linked to an increase of the intrahousehold conflicts. To conclude, this period did not structurally affect gender roles and stereotypes at home, despite minor intrahousehold changes.

Keywords: Covid 19; Housework; Childcare; Gender role (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-02
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme
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