Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Gender Issues

An article the Sunday New York Times describes how women are now more likely to pay for dates, in part because employed women in urban areas are now starting to earn more money than men. Additionally, the percentage of men in the labor force has been steadily declining as the percentage of women increases. This extremely readable report from the Boston Federal Reserve on gender issues in the U.S. labor force. Some trends remain there are still few stay at home dads (less than .5% of married Dads with children under 18) and according to the Fed. Report married working women still do 6 more hours of house work a week than their working husbands.

Perhaps my favorite take on the subject from an economist's point of view are my old undergraduate professors Mark Montgomery and Irene Powell who write about married economist. Here is their conversation about who does the dishes (an excerpt)

You [Spouse 1]: "I've done the dishes every night this week - it's your turn.
Spouse [2]: "What a shame to waste all the human capital you've built up."

Perhaps that is why I do all the cooking in the house as it would be a shame to lose all that human capital, I earned from the cooking lessons I received when I was 12.

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