Journal Article

The economic lifecycle by gender: results combining monetary and time use estimates

Kluge, F. A.

Comparative Population Studies, 39:4, 707-726 (2014)


Keywords: Germany, family consumption, life cycle


In recent decades, we have witnessed profound changes in family size and structure. While marriage rates and the number of children have declined in most industrialised countries, female labour force participation rates have risen significantly. However, while the working hours and wages of women have increased, we continue to observe huge discrepancies in market production by gender in Germany. This results in considerable differences in the economic lifecycle of men and women. The differences diminish if we take unpaid household production, consumption, and caring into account. We fi nd that, after applying this comprehensive approach, the female lifecycle resembles male consumption, income, and transfer patterns. These fi ndings are interesting in the light of future demographic changes, as they suggest that the explicit policy aim of increasing female labour force participation could place constraints on the currently observed division of labour in the market and in the household.