The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Gender Roles and Division of Labour

  • Joyce P. Jacobsen
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_2582

Abstract

All human societies exhibit some degree of division of labour by gender. These divisions continue to exist as participation in paid work has increased over time. Gender divisions occur between household tasks, between unpaid and paid work, and within paid work. Economists have explained these divisions through reliance on essentialist arguments and/or the fundamental economic concepts of efficiency of specialization and division of labour, and investment in human capital. However, gender discrimination can also cause division of labour, and the feedback effects of such discrimination make it difficult to untangle the causes of the gender division of labour.

Keywords

Affirmative action Becker, G. Capitalism Gender roles and division of labour Household economy Human capital Intrahousehold welfare Labour market discrimination Marriage markets Non-market work Occupational segregation Patriarchy Social norms Socialism Technical change Women’s work and wages Work–leisure trade-off 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

Bibliography

  1. Akerlof, G., and R. Kranton. 2000. Economics and identity. Quarterly Journal of Economics 115: 715–753.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anker, R. 1998. Gender and jobs: Sex segregation of occupations in the world. Geneva: International Labour Office.Google Scholar
  3. Badgett, M., and N. Folbre. 2003. Job gendering: Occupational choice and the marriage market. Industrial Relations 42: 270–298.Google Scholar
  4. Baker, M., and J. Jacobsen. 2006. Marriage, specialization, and the gender division of labor. Journal of Labor Economics 25: 763–793.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, G. 1971. The economics of discrimination, rev. edn. Chicago: University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  6. Becker, G. 1991. A Treatise on the Family, enlarged edn. Cambridge, MA/London: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Braunstein, E., and N. Folbre. 2001. To honor and obey: Efficiency, inequality, and patriarchal property rights. Feminist Economics 7: 25–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown, C., and M. Corcoran. 1997. Sex-based differences in school content and the male/female wage gap. Journal of Labor Economics 15: 431–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Corcoran, M., and P. Courant. 1987. Sex-role socialization and occupational segregation: An exploratory investigation. Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 9: 330–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Duley, M., K. Sinclair, and M. Edwards. 1986. Biology versus culture. In The cross-cultural study of women: A comprehensive guide, ed. M. Duley and M. Edwards. New York: Feminist Press, City University of New York.Google Scholar
  11. Elul, R., J. Silva-Reus, and O. Volij. 2002. Will you marry me? A perspective on the gender gap. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 49: 549–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Engels, F. 1884. The origin of the family, private property, and the state. Hottingen-Zurich: Swiss Co-operative Printing Association.Google Scholar
  13. Engineer, M., and L. Welling. 1999. Human capital, true love, and gender roles: Is sex destiny? Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 40: 155–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fausto-Sterling, A. 1985. Myths of gender: Biological theories about women and men. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  15. Fawcett, M. 1892. Mr. Sidney Webb’s article on women’s wages. Economic Journal 2: 173–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Folbre, N. 1995. ‘Holding hands at midnight’: The paradox of caring labor. Feminist Economics 1: 73–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Galor, O., and D. Weil. 1996. The gender gap, fertility, and growth. American Economic Review 86: 374–387.Google Scholar
  18. Greenwood, J., A. Seshadri, and M. Yorukoglu. 2005. Engines of liberation. Review of Economic Studies 72: 109–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gronau, R. 1988. Sex-related wage differentials and women’s interrupted labor careers – The chicken or the egg. Journal of Labor Economics 6: 277–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Grossbard-Shechtman, S. 1993. On the economics of marriage: A theory of marriage, labor, and divorce. Boulder/Oxford: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  21. Hadfield, G. 1999. A coordination model of the sexual division of labor. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 40: 125–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hartmann, H. 1976. Capitalism, patriarchy, and the division of labor. Signs 1((3), pt. 2): 137–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Humphries, J. 1991. The sexual division of labor and social control: An interpretation. Review of Radical Political Economics 23: 269–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jacobsen, J. 2006. The economics of gender. 3rd ed. Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  25. Lundberg, S., and R. Pollak. 1994. Noncooperative bargaining models of marriage. American Economic Review 84: 132–137.Google Scholar
  26. Lundberg, S., and R. Startz. 1983. Private discrimination and social intervention in competitive labor markets. American Economic Review 73: 340–347.Google Scholar
  27. Matthaei, J. 1995. The sexual division of labor, sexuality, and lesbian/gay liberation: Towards a marxist-feminist analysis of sexuality in U.S. capitalism. Review of Radical Political Economics 27: 1–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Reskin, B., and P. Roos. 1990. Job queues, gender queues: Explaining women’s inroads into male occupations. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Siow, A. 1998. Differential fecundity, markets, and gender roles. Journal of Political Economy 106: 334–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joyce P. Jacobsen
    • 1
  1. 1.