What's fair is fair? Role of justice in family labor allocation decisions

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18 Scopus citations


The theoretical basis on which wives and husbands in the United States evaluate the fairness of the division of household labor is explored. Based on distributive justice theory, separate interviews with wives and husbands are conducted to identify and define the household inputs or contributions that are valued as well as the underlying justice principles that guide household labor allocations. The findings suggest considerable variation in the value placed on household chores and the underlying justice principles used when allocating housework. Gendered expectations also play an important role in these allocations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-545
Number of pages35
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 14 Nov 2008


  • Distributive justice
  • Fairness
  • Household labor


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