Division of Household Labor in the U.S. and Japan: A SEM Approach

Matthew Loyd, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Despite the fact that women have been entering the formal labor force in increasing numbers, household work remains largely women’s work. Two central theories explain this phenomenon: economic exchange and gender ideology. This paper compares the gender division of household labor in the United States and Japan to test whether economic exchange and gender ideology theories operate equivalently in both contexts. Previous work argues that gender ideology should be a larger factor in allocating housework in Japan than in the U.S. Data are from the 2002 International Social Survey Programme module “Family and Changing Gender Roles III,” with nationally representative samples and a questionnaire designed specifically for cross-national research. This paper employs structural equation models to 1) measure gender ideology as a latent variable, 2) include gender ideology as an intervening rather than an exogenous variable, and 3) permit formal equivalence testing for the U.S. and Japan models.

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Presented in Poster Session 4