We investigate whether in the US hours of household work vary by whether individuals are in different-race or same-race couples. American Time Use Survey data for years 2003-2009 are analyzed for samples of white and black male and female respondents. We find that white women married to black men devote 0.3 fewer hours per day to chores than their counterparts in all-white marriages, which is comparable to the effect of a child on their hours of housework. Findings for white men also indicate that they work less at housework when in couple with black women than when in all-white couples. Conversely, blacks appear to do more housework if they are in couple with whites than when in all-black couples. Results are sensitive to whether time use was measured on weekdays or weekends, relationship status, and employment status in ways that are consistent with our theoretical framework based on Becker’s second Demand and Supply model. Selectivity into intermarriage does not seem to explain the findings. [. . .]
A recent analysis of internet dating also indicates a disadvantage to being black in the US: Hitsch, Hortaçsu and Ariely (2006) estimate that relative to white men, African American men received only about half as many first-contact e-mails from white women.
Furthermore, Spanier and Glick (1980) and Hamilton et al. (2009) have documented that in the US black men who marry white women have higher education, income and occupational status than endogamous (marrying within their own group) black men, possibly indicating that black men have to ‘pay’ their way into marriage with white women. Similar differentials were found for immigrants marrying natives in Australia (Meng and Gregory 2005), France (Meng and Meurs 2009), and Germany (Nottmeyer 2011). In all these cases, women seem to prefer men from their own group and expect some ‘compensation’ when marrying minority men.
In this paper, we test whether in US marriage markets blacks are also disadvantaged in terms of spending more time on chores when in couple with whites than when endogamous. [. . .]
Taken together, our findings suggest that blacks pay a price for being in couple with whites rather than being endogamous: they are likely to obtain fewer minutes of chores from their white partners, and they are likely to perform more minutes of work themselves. Conversely, relative to their endogamous counterparts, whites in couple with blacks benefit in the form of less own work in chores. They may also obtain more chore work from their black partners. [. . .]
Our findings are consistent with a lower value of blacks in US marriage markets, relative to the value of whites. This may be another disadvantage associated with being black in the US.
Racial Intermarriage and Household Production
For the edification of Whiskey and SeanTodRoy (pdf):