Division of House Chores and the Curious Case of Cooking: The Effects of Earning Inequality on House Chores among Dual-Earner Couples


  • Yasemin Besen-Cassino Montclair State University
  • Dan Cassino Fairleigh Dickinson University




This paper focuses on the division of chores at home between married, dual-earner spouses during the post-recession era using a multi-disciplinary perspective. Using Tobit regression estimations based on American Time Use Survey (ATUS), we test two dominant theories: bargaining/exchange theory and gender role theory. We find that, parallel to gender role theory, when men make less money than their wives and experience gender role threat, they do less housework regardless of the recession. However, they do not see cooking the same way. In the post-recession era, cooking does not behave the same way as the other chores. When men experience gender role threat, men do not decrease the amount of time they dedicate to cooking. Cooking does not have the same social meaning as other house chores do.


Keywords: housework, gender, division of chores, recession.

Author Biographies

Yasemin Besen-Cassino, Montclair State University

Associate Professor

Department of Sociology

Dan Cassino, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Associate Professor

Department of Political Science