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Jacobs, Jerry A.
Gornick, Janet C.
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LIS Working Paper Series No. 253
Luxembourg Income Study (LIS), Luxembourg
In this paper we examine the hours of paid work of husbands and wives in ten industrialized countries, using data from the Luxembourg Income Study. We present results on the average hours of paid work put in jointly by couples, on the proportion working very long weekly hours, and on gender equality in working time within families. The United States ranks at or near the top on most indicators of working time for couples, because of 1) a high proportion of dual-earner couples; 2) long average work weeks, especially among women; and 3) a high proportion of individuals who work very long hours. In terms of gender equality, the U.S. ranks above average in paid working time among dual-earner couples with no children, but fares less well among working parents. Finally, we discuss policies and institutions that may help explain the distinctive U.S. results - namely the long hours and moderate levels of gender equality - including the regulation of maximum hours, the demand for part-time work, and the public provision of child care.
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Working Paper

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