Our Working Papers on Time Use
Gender Time Use and Aging (forthcoming)
Liana Sayer, Vicki Freedman, and Suzanne M. Bianchi
Abstract: This chapter provides an overview of gender differences in time use at older ages. We begin with a brief overview of the measurement of time use among older adults. Next, we compare gender differences in daily time allocated to paid work, care work, and leisure between adults 55 and older and those 25-54, emphasizing how gender differences change with age. We then examine social aspects of time use in later life, including how older men and women differ in their time spent alone. Last, we examine caregiving and how its influence on time use and wellbeing varies by gender. We conclude with a discussion of needed directions in research on gender, aging, and time use.
Trends in Women’s and Men’s Time Use, 1965-2012: Back to the Future? (forthcoming)
Liana C. Sayer
Women’s and men’s time use is more similar today than in the 1960s, when specialization in adult roles was at its peak, but convergence remains stubbornly out of sight. This paper updates earlier trend studies of time use and finds recent data confirm the most consistent findings from earlier analyses. The greater similarity of women’s and men’s time use today is due much more to change among women than among men. Further, despite declines in housework, the increase in women’s child care time and paid work time has resulted in a gender gap in leisure time. New findings from this analysis reveal the gender gap in leisure is accounted for by men’s higher levels of television time.
How Extensive is the "Second Shift"? A Study of 5 Countries
Sara Raley, Liana Sayer, and Melissa Milkie
Abstract: A relatively small proportion of U.S. married mothers, about 15 percent, fit the profile of "second shift" mothers, in which both they and their partners work fulltime and have one or more preschoolers. This group does about 7 more hours per week of total work (paid plus unpaid) than their partners and feels disproportionately rushed and stressed. Cross-national variation in work/family policies, working time regulations, and gender norms should work to amplify second shift time inequalities in some countries but mitigate them in others. In this paper, using harmonized time diary data from the Multinational Time Diary Study (see http://www.timeuse.org/files/cckpub/858/mtus-user-guide-r6-july-2013.pdf), we examine five countries in a comparative analysis of the second shift, including the percent of the mother population in this category and the magnitude of women’s overwork compared with similarly situated men. We limit our analysis to countries that represent specific “gender logics” and for which MTUS has harmonized publicly available data in the 2000s: France Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the US. Consistent with Hochschild’s findings, mothers in fulltime dual-earner couples with young children have higher workloads than similarly situated fathers in every context except the Netherlands (where fathers have larger workloads). The Netherlands is also distinct in that a very low percentage of parents with young children are in the fulltime employed dual-earner family type (less than 15%) whereas about 35% of families with young children in the U.S., Spain and France, are in such families. Finally, the overall size of the workloads among fulltime employed dual-earner parents with young children appears to be largest in Spain and smallest in France.
Who Experiences Leisure Deficits? Mothers' Martial Status and Leisure Time
Emily Passias, Liana C. Sayer, and Joanna R. Pepin
We use the 2003-2012 American Time Use Survey to examine how mothers’ leisure varies by marital status. We find that never-married mothers have more total leisure time than married mothers, but the quality of leisure is poorer. The majority of never married mothers’ leisure time is passive and socially isolated—activities with few social, health, or cognitive benefits. We also find that race-ethnicity moderates the effect of relationship status on time spent in social and active leisure. Unpartnered and black mothers spend the most time in socially isolated leisure, such as time spent alone watching television. Our results strongly suggest that types of leisure differentiate mothers’ experience of time in ways related to other dimensions of inequality, such as economic, health, and social capital disparities.
Marital Status and Mothers’ Time Use: Childcare, Housework, Leisure, and Sleep
Joanna R. Pepin, Liana C. Sayer, and Lynne M. Casper
Assumptions that single mothers are “time-poor” compared with married mothers are ubiquitous, but variation in mothers’ time use is less studied than differences between mothers and fathers. We use the 2003-2012 American Time Use Surveys (ATUS) to examine marital status variation in mothers’ time spent in housework, childcare, leisure, and sleep. We find no difference in time spent on childcare between mothers, suggesting that behavioral propensities to engage in childcare are similar for all mothers; children’s needs are immutable. Married mothers do more housework and spend less time sleeping than all other mothers. Never married and cohabiting mothers have significantly more leisure time than married mothers, although this time is mostly spent watching television. Differences in demographic characteristic explain two-thirds of the variance in sedentary leisure time between married and never married mothers. These results provide no support for the time poverty thesis but offer some support for the doing gender perspective.