Unemployment and domestic work in Spain: did the 2007 economic crisis affect gender equality in the household?
Journal of Family Studies
Gender balance, Gender inequality, Time use, Spain
The literature shows that a partner becoming unemployed leads to a reallocation of domestic work towards the newly unemployed partner, but that this reallocation remains gendered. In this paper, we explore the relationship between employment status and domestic work before and after the 2007 economic crisis in Spain, where the crisis had a dramatic impact: the unemployment rate rose from 9 per cent in 2006 to 20 per cent in 2010. We hypothesize that a crisis can exacerbate the effect of unemployment on domestic work. We analyse Spanish time-use data pre-crisis (2003) and during the crisis (2010), using ordinary least squares regressions and an interaction between the year of the survey and the employment situation of the household (N = 15,594594). Our results suggest that employment status affects unpaid work – both domestic chores and childcare – in a gendered way, but we find little support for a differential effect of the crisis.