Volume 36 - Article 32 | Pages 905–944 Author has provided data and code for replicating results

Household production and consumption over the life cycle: National Time Transfer Accounts in 14 European countries

By Lili Vargha, Róbert Iván Gál, Michelle O. Crosby-Nagy

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter


Date received:07 Oct 2015
Date published:23 Mar 2017
Word count:7171
Keywords:childcare, cross-national research, gender, housework, intergenerational transfers, national transfer accounts (NTA), time use
Additional files:readme.36-32 (text file, 2 kB)
 demographic-research.36-32 (zip file, 9 MB)


Background: While the importance of unpaid household labour is recognised in total economic output, little is known about the demographics of household production and consumption.

Objective: Our goal is to give a comprehensive estimation on the value of household production and its consumption by age and gender and analyse nonmarket economic transfers in 14 European countries based on publicly available harmonised data.

Methods: We introduce a novel imputation method of harmonised European time use (HETUS) data to the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) in order to assign time spent on home production to consumers in households and estimate time transfers. Moreover, monetary values are attributed to household production activities using data on earnings from the Structure of Earnings Survey (SES).

Results: We show that the nonmarket economic life cycle of men differs from that of women. The gender gap in household production is not evenly distributed over the life cycle. Women of working age contribute the most in net terms, while the main beneficiaries of household goods and services are children and to a lesser extent adult men. These patterns are similar across countries, with variations in the gender- and age-specific levels of home production and consumption.

Conclusions: In Europe, in the national economy, intergenerational flows are important in sustaining both childhood and old age. In contrast, in the household economy, intergenerational transfers flow mostly towards children.

Contribution: We add a new focus to the research on household production: While keeping the gender aspect, we demonstrate the importance of the life cycle component in household production.

Author's Affiliation

Lili Vargha - Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany [Email]
Róbert Iván Gál - Népességtudományi Kutatóintézet (Hungarian Demographic Research Institute), Hungary [Email]
Michelle O. Crosby-Nagy - Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary [Email]

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Fifty years of change updated: Cross-national gender convergence in housework
Volume 35 - Article 16    | Keywords: cross-national research, gender, housework, time use

» Culture portability from origin to destination country: The gender division of domestic work among migrants in Italy
Volume 47 - Article 20    | Keywords: childcare, gender, housework

» Intergenerational money and time transfers by gender in Spain: Who are the actual dependents?
Volume 34 - Article 24    | Keywords: intergenerational transfers, national transfer accounts (NTA), time use

» Domestic gender equality and childbearing in Sweden
Volume 29 - Article 40    | Keywords: childcare, gender, housework

» Gender inequality in domestic chores over ten months of the UK COVID-19 pandemic: Heterogeneous adjustments to partners’ changes in working hours
Volume 46 - Article 19    | Keywords: childcare, housework