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Outsourcing of domestic tasks

van der Lippe, Tanja, Frey, Vincenz and Tsvetkova, Milena ORCID: 0000-0002-3552-108X (2013) Outsourcing of domestic tasks. Journal of Family Issues, 34 (12). pp. 1574-1597. ISSN 0192-513X

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0192513X12468099


The outsourcing of domestic tasks is an important strategy for coping with the competing time claims of the family and the workplace. Previous research explained the use of domestic help mainly in terms of financial and time constraints. In this article, we conceptualize household work as producing not only goods but also direct utility, and we argue that the more pleasure household members take in doing domestic work, the less they outsource it. Using the Dutch Time Competition Survey (N = 736), we find that if partners enjoy maintenance, cleaning, cooking, or child care, they are less likely to outsource these tasks, controlling for time and monetary resources and gender-role expectations. A woman’s preferences are more important for the outsourcing of cleaning and child care, whereas a man’s preferences are more important for the outsourcing of home maintenance. Cooking is less likely to be outsourced when both men and women find it pleasurable to cook themselves.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 12 May 2017 14:57
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:46

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