Do Men Care? Measuring men’s capability of being engaged in unpaid work

Andreassen, Leif; Di Tommaso, Maria Laura; Fuscaldo, Marco (2014). 'Do Men Care? Measuring men's capability of being engaged in unpaid work' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, 2-5 September 2014, Athens, Greece.

Men's involvement in unpaid work at home is central to understanding both men's wellbeing and gender relations. The present study sheds more light on men's capability of being engaged both childcare and housework activities. The definition of capabilities is based on Sen's Capability Approach (Sen 1985, 1992, 1999, 2009), which points out the importance of studying what people are free to do and be, rather than what they do and who they are. We use a methodology pioneered by Luce (1959) and McFadden (1973, 1984), extended to a setting with latent capability sets along the lines suggested in Dagsvik (2013) and Andreassen, Dagsvik and Di Tommaso (2013). It is based on stochastic scale representations of rank orderings of alternatives. The dataset we use is the Multinational Time Use Survey (MTUS), a cross-country harmonized set of time use surveys, recoded to be comparable across. Our initial investigation has focused on the Spanish dataset (year 2002), because the sample size is large, including couples, and has fairly good income information. We exclude couples where either the husband or the wife are retired, disabled or involved in caregiving to other adults. We only wish to analyse time use on 'normal' days, which we define as days where the couple does at least 5 hours of paid work altogether, thus excluding days off and vacations. We are thereby left with a fairly homogenous group of working couples that are dealing with problems in balancing paid employment and unpaid work. We assume that all possible choices about paid employment and unpaid work at home can be grouped into four discrete states according to different levels of paid employment and unpaid work. On the basis of this, we statistically model the distribution of hours within the household, based on the relative earning power of the male and the female. Finally, we estimate how important childcare is for the male and the female and the degree to which they are constrained in their choices of paid work and unpaid work in the home. We find that, even though men do relatively little childcare, it is important to them.

scroll to top