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Anders Stenberg

Research Findings

Does outsourcing of domestic services increase female earnings?

February 19, 2019

Even though a vast majority of all households in wealthy countries have two wage-earners, women on average work fewer hours and at lower wages than their partners. This is commonly attributed to the fact that women perform most of the routine housework. For instance, Swedish women spend approximately 15 hours per week on domestic work compared to 10 hours for men – a moderate gender gap compared to many other European countries.

When women decrease time in domestic work, their time in paid work is generally thought to increase. This may happen, for example, with increased access to child care, increased supply of low-skilled workers which makes it cheaper to hire domestic help, or technological improvements in household appliances.

However, we don’t have detailed information about exactly how much more women work for pay when these kinds of changes occur.

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