Employment Transitions and the Division of Household Labor among New Parents

Emily Passias, Ohio State University
Liana C. Sayer, Ohio State University
Claire M. Kamp Dush, Ohio State University
Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, Ohio State University

This study considers whether employment transitions are one mechanism through which the gendered division of labor becomes more defined over the transition to parenthood. Using The American Time Use Survey in conjunction with new, innovative data from the New Parents Project, we assess how employment transitions, in the form of parental leave, affect the division of labor between first time married and cohabiting parents. We ask whether longer parental leaves result in a more highly differentiated division of labor between mothers and fathers. We expect to find that employment transitions are in fact one mechanism through which the gender division of labor becomes solidified among new parents. The results of this research give us insight into how employment affects the gendered behavior of new parents, as well as how social policies encouraging longer parental leaves may have unintended consequences in the household.

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Presented in Session 168: Gender and the Labor Market