Volume 44 - Article 34 | Pages 839–852  

Gendered intergenerational time transfers in Estonia

By Katrin Schwanitz


Background: Extant research on intergenerational domestic time transfers rarely includes Estonia. This, combined with distinct socio-structural features relevant to such transfers – a post-communist welfare regime, high female labor force participation, and high levels of gender inequality in domestic and care work – makes Estonia a very interesting study setting.

Objective: I examine gendered intergenerational time transfers in Estonia and their (dis)similarity to patterns found in France and Italy.

Methods: I draw on Estonian Time Use Survey (ETUS) data from the most recent edition (2009–2010) and estimate OLS regression models with clustered standard errors separately for men and women. (NS1 = 772 person days; NS2 = 1,348 person days; NS3 = 2,481 person days).

Results: Intergenerational time transfers follow a downward pattern, from parents to adult children, and are mostly maintained through mothers’ high absolute and relative contribution to housework. The participation in domestic tasks of young adults coresiding with parents is also strongly gendered and is mainly related to time availability. Young men and women outside the parental home generally incur time costs, except for single young women, but gender inequality persists across life-course stages.

Conclusions: Intergenerational time transfers in Estonia resemble those in Italy more than those in France: there is a marked gender asymmetry, yet not of the same magnitude and with a unique life-course dynamic. Consistent with multi-dimensional gender differentiation, most family arrangements are time-intensive for women.

Contribution: This is the first study to empirically illustrate gendered intergenerational time transfers in Estonia, underscoring that intergenerational time exchanges are gendered in context-specific ways.

Author's Affiliation

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Unpacking intentions to leave the parental home in Europe using the Generations and Gender Survey
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Differences in leaving home by individual and parental education among young adults in Europe
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