Men labored in the fields, traded, or worked at other jobs in order to bring his earnings home to his wife. The wife then made what was given last. Whether it was gold, bread, or other goods, the wife had to manage it. The wife also made clothes, soap, and other daily essentials. Children were expected to do chores. Cows produced milk, eggs were laid by hens, and other essentials chores were expected from the children. Everyone contributed to the economics of this household.Feminism and Marxism revolutionized the economics of the family. Whereas in the neoclassical family the man held all the power, women started gaining power in the 21st century. Today two working parents are common. What has become even more commonplace is a single family home. Mothers that get child support, or most of the time do not receive child support, are raising children. Divorce has given women a bargaining chip but has created a hardship on the single mothers. Domestic violence has decreased due to divorce, but the divorce rate has risen to nearly a 50/50 percent ratio.Another economic concern is childcare and housework. When women work out, or both parents work out, childcare must be considered. School-aged children must have a care before and after school if a parent has a 9 to 5 job. A nanny might be required for parents working unusual hours like the graveyard shift. Parents might choose to work opposite shifts in order to watch the children. Housework might have to be paid for as well. If two parents, or a single parent, is working too many hours a housekeeper might be necessary. It all plays into the economics of the family.Chapter Four discusses the balance between home and the labor force. The number of hours to work in order to make a living to the women’s attachment to the workforce was looked at. Economically the labor force must balance both work and home.
The Economics of Women Men and Work