First childbirth and the division of domestic work: a comparison of married and cohabiting couples in Spain

Marta Dominguez, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Research shows that cohabiting couples have more egalitarian divisions of domestic work than marrieds, although the reasons behind this empirical regularity are not clear. In spite of this, studies on the life course have also shown changes in the division of tasks over the lifecourse, and specifically, there seems to be a trend towards traditionalization after childbirth even for couples with egalitarian arrangements prior to that event. In this paper we investigate the effects of the transition to the first child in the domestic division of work as well as on the division of housework, questioning whether there is a trend towards more inegalitarian arrangements among married and cohabiting couples and which are the main determinants of such trend. The case studied is Spain, a country that remains quite traditional concerning domestic work, and where we expect the trend towards traditionalization to be stronger for married than for cohabiting couples. The empirical analysis uses cross-sectional time use data for Spain and panel data from one spanish region (Catalunya). We estimate the changes on the division of household chores using longitudinal regressions and propensity score matching.

Presented in Session 60: Family, work, and time use