Title

But can she cook? Women's education and housework productivity

Abstract

Previous inquiries into the relationship between education and housework productivity reveal that expectations differ along disciplinary (i.e., economics vs. non-economics) lines and empirical results from the economics literature are mixed. Expectations of a positive sign between education and housework productivity in the economics literature may be a function of misinterpretations of [J. Polit. Economy 81 (1973) 306] original theory pertaining to all non-market production, which is far more general than just housework. Mixed empirical results may be a function of incomplete or overly assumption-reliant econometric models derived previously. We streamline the procedures for estimating the parameters of a one-person, one-period housework production function such that the system of equations may be specified with a single, literature-based assumption. Our estimation of the production function parameter that measures the effect of education on housework productivity suggests that authors in the non-economics literature may have a point; the relationship between education and housework productivity may be negative due to "morale" effects. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Economics of Education Review

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