Testing the Effect of the Husband's Participation in Housework/Child-rearing on the Wife's Employment: Importance of the husband's work style and his views on gender roles

Author Name TSURU Kotaro (Faculty Fellow) / KUME Koichi (Recruit Works Institute)
Creation Date/NO. March 2016 16-J-010
Research Project Reform of Labor Market Institutions
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In this paper, we empirically analyze the relationship between the husband's participation in housework/child-rearing and the wife's labor participation. To cope with endogeneity between them, we use the instrumental variables method. The result shows that the husband's housework has a significant positive effect on the wife's labor participation.

Our main findings are as follow; first, more participation by the husband in housework/child-rearing encourages his wife to engage in full time work or longer working hours. Second, daily support such as using nursery school or living with parents increases the probability of the wife's labor participation. Finally, flexibility of the husband's work style or his view on gender roles has significant effects on his participation in housework or child-rearing.

The results suggest that not only providing housework or child-rearing services but also changing the husband's work style and his view on gender roles are effective to promote the married female labor participation or diversify their work styles.