Who tends to work more overall — men or women?

It’s well known that men on average engage in more paid work and women engage in more household work.  But is there a gender difference in total hours worked (paid work + household work)?

This is the sort of question that can be addressed through time-use diary data, based on people recording what they do during a 24 hour period.


A paper by economists Burda, Hamermesh and Weil (2007) addressed this, among other issues related to gender differences in work hours cross-nationally.

The table below is copied from that paper, Burda et al. (2007).  For now, I had a parochial interest in the left half of the table showing average minutes spent in both market work and home work by marital status and gender.

In the US, among married people, women reported 12 fewer minutes of total work per day than men on average.  The difference is less than 3%.   Apparently there is little or no gender difference in the various developed they examine except for Italy, where women reported substantially more time on housework, driving up their total work hours above that of men.


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