Renzo Carriero, Lorenzo Todesco

Investigating the Male Contribution To Household Labor in Italy: Does Peers' Behavior Matter?

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Housework; Peer Effect; Social Innovation; Vignette; Experimental Survey.

The gender division of household labor still remains a puzzle for social scientists. In this article, we concentrate on men's behavior because it has shown itself to be particularly resistant to change. We focus on a factor that has never been considered in the division of household labor: the role of peers' behavior. At the theoretical level, we address the problem within the framework of the diffusion of social innovations. At the methodological level, we introduce an experimental-vignette design embedded in a survey. By showing randomized versions of the same story where peers' behavior is manipulated, we assess, through respondents' judgments, the likelihood that men's household labor changes as a consequence of peers' domestic behavior. Our findings, focused on the Italian context, show that peers count in pushing men to do more housework and childcare. However, their effect is constrained by other characteristics of the egalitarian division of household labor.

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