Daughter vs. Daughter-in-Law: Kinship Roles and Women’s Time Use in India

Author: Tanu Gupta and Digvijay S Negi

Title: Daughter vs. Daughter-in-Law: Kinship Roles and Women’s Time Use in India

Abstract: The custom of patrilocal marriage shifts a woman from her natal family to being part of her husband’s household. This shift and the associated change in kinship role has implications for her participation and time use in paid and unpaid work. In this paper, we compare the participation decision and time use in different activities of married and unmarried women in India. Our comparison group for married women or the daughters-in-law within the household is the unmarried daughters of comparable age and educational qualification. We hypothesize that conditional on age, educational attainment and other observable characteristics, the differences in time devoted to domestic activities and caregiving of these women are due to differences in their status and hierarchy in the household. We find that compared to daughters, daughters-in-law spend more time in home production and less time in paid employment, learning, socializing, leisure and self-care. Moreover, they also spend more time on religious activities, which suggests that not all women may bear equal responsibility for producing status goods for the household and that this responsibility may invariably fall on the daughters-in-law.

Keywords: marriage, daughter-in-law, time use, kinship roles, division of labor, India

JEL Code: D13, J12, J22, O15, Z13

Weblink: http://www.igidr.ac.in/pdf/publication/WP-2021-002.pdf