Working Hard for Pay that’s Hardly Working: Gender Differences in time use in the care economy and their effect on wages


Author/Creator ORCID




Hood College Economics and Business Administration


Hood College Departmental Honors

Citation of Original Publication




In this paper I perform analyze the impact of care activities on individual’s wages, focusing on the differences between men and women. The care variables that I investigate are childcare, elderly care, and household care. This data comes from the 2015 American Time Use Survey. I perform two different regressions. The first is a log-linear regression and the second is a Heckman two-step equation and Oaxaca- Blinder decomposition. The log-linear model allows me to get an overall basis of results and then the Heckman two-step and Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition isolates the potential discrimination for these differences in time use for men and women. I find that the effects spent on elderly care need further investigation as I got contradicting results. The effects of childcare and household care are found to be significant and not equal for men and women. For women there are negative associations for time spent caring for their children and households in respect to wages but men have a positive association for these same activities. I conclude that women are more affected by the care economy through deductions in their individual wages.