Who has more free time: married women or single women?


Married couples enjoy meaningful economies in time, often choosing to specialize where one spouse focuses on market work and the other on household production and childcare. Using data from the American Time Use Survey 2003–2008, I estimate significant marriage effects upon time use. Most married women gain 33–34 min of leisure each weekday when compared to single women. While marriage does not lead to more leisure for husbands, it allows them to allocate time away from home and towards market work. Lower-income couples work more at home and for pay, and spend less time in leisure than their single counterparts. The temporal and financial gains from marriage for most people are inconsistent with its declining prevalence.

Source: “Marriage: for love, for money…and for time?” from Review of Economics of the Household

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