Outsourcing housework and highly skilled women's labour force participation-An analysis of a policy intervention

Liat Raz-Yurovich*, Ive Marx

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Women in developed countries still bear the brunt of care and household work, often with severe consequences for their professional careers. In addition to policies to promote gender equality in the realm of household work, state-supported outsourcing has the potential to help women reduce work-family conflict in a more optimal way and thus to realize their professional potential. We use the enactment of the Belgian Service Voucher Scheme to examine whether the introduction of a heavily state-subsidized outsourcing option increased women's employment rates at the extensive margins, especially among the highly educated. Using time-series analyses as well as difference-in-differences models, we find both short- and long-term positive changes in the employment rates of highly skilled women in Belgium after the enactment of the scheme in January 2004. Moreover, the results of our difference-in-differences models suggest that highly skilled women's increased ability to outsource housework is the main mechanism driving the change in their employment rates.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)205-224
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©The Author(s) 2019.

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