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Q: household chore statistics ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: household chore statistics
Category: Family and Home > Home
Asked by: jw77-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 08 Oct 2006 17:48 PDT
Expires: 07 Nov 2006 16:48 PST
Question ID: 771849
I need a survey of the time spent by the general population (or just
women) doing household chores from 1950s til today (or nineties).
Source must by respectable.  Graphical form useful.
Subject: Re: household chore statistics
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 08 Oct 2006 19:14 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
I believe you will find exactly what you're seeking (including several
graphs) in a research paper called "A Century of Work and Leisure," by
Valerie A. Ramey (University of California, San Diego National Bureau
of Economic Research) and Neville Francis (University of North
Carolina), first published in August 2004, and revised in May 2006.

Note that this paper uses the term "home production" when referring to
household chores:

"A number of cross-validation studies show time use diaries to be the
most accurate source of estimates for housework (and market work for
that matter) (Juster and Stafford (1985, 1991)). Thus, we use
estimates based on time diary data to the extent possible. The
historical studies generally including the following activities in
home production: planning, purchasing, care of family members, general
cleaning, care of the house and grounds, preparing and clearing away
food, making, mending, and laundry of clothing and other household
textiles (Vanek (1973), page 57). Activities such as playing and
talking with and reading to children are usually included in childcare
in the time use studies from 1965 on. We exclude them for two reasons.
First, these activities rank high on the enjoyment index and hence are
more properly classified as leisure. Second, while little time was
devoted to these activities in the studies from 1900 to 1965, they
have become an increasingly important in terms of time expenditures.
Thus,including them in home production would lead to noticeably higher
estimates at the end of the sample."

This is the abstract of the paper:

"Has leisure increased over the last century? Standard measures of
hours worked suggest that it has. In this paper, we develop a
comprehensive measure of non-leisure hours that includes market work,
home production, commuting and schooling for the last 105 years. We
also present empirical and theoretical arguments for a definition of
'per capita' that encompasses the entire population. The new measures
reveal a number of interesting 20th Century trends. First, 70 percent
of the decline in hours worked has been offset by an increase in hours
spent in school. Second, contrary to conventional wisdom, average
hours spent in home production are actually slightly higher now than
they were in the early part of the 20th Century. Finally, leisure per
capita is approximately the same now as it was in 1900."

The paper, in its entirety, is available here in .pdf format:

University of California, San Diego: A Century of Work and Leisure

For your convenience, I have pulled out the graphs that pertain to
hours spent on housework and have combined them into a single graphic
image. For maximum legibility, please view this in its actual size,
and scroll to see the various graphs:

Graphs 8,9, and 10 from "A Century of Work and Leisure"

My Google search strategy:

Google Web Search: "household chores" OR housework hours week 1950

I hope this is precisely what you need. If anything is unclear or
incomplete, or if a link doesn't work for you, please request
clarification; I'll be glad to offer further assistance before you
rate my answer.

Best regards,
jw77-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00

Subject: Re: household chore statistics
From: pinkfreud-ga on 13 Oct 2006 20:22 PDT
Thank you very much for the five stars and the generous tip!


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