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Lazy Rotten Sons? Relatedness, gender and the intra-household allocation of work and leisure in South Africa

Martin Wittenberg ()

No 28, SALDRU Working Papers from Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town

Abstract: We investigate the balance between work (including home production), leisure and personal care (chiefly sleep) within South African households. We use the South African time use survey which enables us to obtain a better measure of the division of total labour (paid and unpaid) within South African households than previous studies have been able to. Furthermore we construct a measure of "genetic" relatedness between the respondent and other members of the household. We find that women that are more closely related to other household members do more work and enjoy less leisure than more peripheral individuals. Single men, by contrast, seem to do less work and enjoy more leisure if they are more closely related to other household members. Our findings are not compatible with the unitary model of the household. They suggest that men extract extra leisure because of the anticipated altruism shown by women.

Keywords: altruism; genetic relatedness; Hamilton’s rule; intra-household allocation; rotten kid theorem; time use (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 D64 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-dev and nep-lab
Date: 2009-01
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