July 2020

IZA DP No. 13461: The Gender Gap in Time Allocation in Europe

This article explores the gender gap in time allocation in Europe, offering up-to-date statistics and information on several factors that may help to explain these differences. Prior research has identified several factors affecting the time individuals devote to paid work, unpaid work, and child care, and the gender gaps in these activities, but most research refers to single countries, and general patterns are rarely explored. Cross-country evidence on gender gaps in paid work, unpaid work, and child care is offered, and explanations based on education, earnings, and household structure are presented, using data from the EUROSTAT and the Multinational Time Use Surveys. There are large cross-country differences in the gender gaps in paid work, unpaid work, and child care, which remain after controlling for socio-demographic characteristics, although the gender gap in paid work dissipates when the differential gendered relationship between socio-demographic characteristics and paid work is taken into account. This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of gender gaps in Europe, helping to focus recent debates on how to tackle inequality in Europe, and clarifying the factors that contribute to gender inequalities in the uses of time.