Applicability of Becker’s theory of allocation of time in modelling married women’s allocation of time between household duties and labour force participation in Zimbabwe

Clapton Munongerwa


With the rise in women participation in labour force and gender equality campaigns on the one hand and cultural norms which characterise women as house makers on the other, most married women often find themselves in a dilemma as to how to allocate their time among competing needs. This paper used a theoretical approach in reviewing the applicability of the proposals of Becker’s allocation of time theory to the married women’s allocation of time between household duties and labour force participation to the Zimbabwean situation.  It was concluded that though the model ignores the cultural norms of assigning household roles to specific gender, it explained to a greater extent the trends observed in which women spend more time in household chores to which they have a comparative advantage as opposed to their male counterparts. The substitution and income effects explained in this model are also applicable to the preferences and patterns of time allocation by married when faced with a change in wages. 


Time Allocation, Becker’s Theory, Married Women, Labour force participation

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