Social Desirability and Response Bias in Case of the Division of Household Labour. The Interaction between Gender of the Interviewer and Respondent Characteristics in Telephone Interviews

Markus Klein, Michael Kühhirt


In this paper we examine the impact of the interviewer’s gender on respondents’ self-reported share of housework in telephone interviews. Due to a discrepancy between modern, egalitarian gender roles dominating public discussion and men’s marginal participation in housework we expect male respondents to answer in a socially desirable way and exaggerate their share of housework vis à vis female interviewers. At the same time, we assume that female respondents underreport their contribution to the couple’s housework to female interviewers. The effects of the interviewer’s gender should be less strong in case of female respondents than in case of male respondents, though. Additionally, theory suggests that young and educated respondents are particularly susceptible to effects of the interviewer’s gender as they are most aware of egalitarian gender roles.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Markus Klein, Michael Kühhirt

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