This paper provides insights into the welfare gains of forming a couple by estimating how much of the difference in housework time between single and married individuals is causal and how much is due to selection. Using longitudinal data from Australia, UK and US, we find that selection into marriage by individuals with a higher taste for home-produced goods can explain about half of the observed differences in housework documented in the cross-sectional data. There remains a genuine two-hour increase in housework time for each partner upon marriage, with women specializing in routine, and men specializing in non-routine housework tasks.
D13: Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation
J12: Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
J22: Time Allocation and Labor Supply