A model of household time allocation taking into consideration of hiring domestic helpers

Donggen WANG*, Jiukun Li

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    Household maintenance such as childcare not only induces activities and travel but also impose time constraints on individuals' participation in other activities and travel. Instead of sharing household responsibilities, households may hire domestic helpers for household maintenance. Alternatively, they may get helps from members of the extended family such as parents of household heads. This paper develops a model to analyze households' trade-offs between hiring domestic helpers for household maintenance and taking these responsibilities by household members. We will apply household economic theories to develop a time allocation model incorporating interactions among household members. We assume that households trade off the money they are willing to spend for hiring helpers with the time they may need to spend for household maintenance activities to maximize utilities, subject to time constraints. The model may be used to analyze the impacts of domestic helpers on household members' time allocation to subsistence, maintenance and recreation activities. It may also be applied to analyze the impacts of government policies regarding the minimum salary of domestic helpers and the change of household members' wage rates on households' decision to hire helpers. The paper extends the current literature on intra-household activity-travel interactions by considering external helps from domestic helpers, which may contribute to the understanding of activity-travel patterns of household members.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)204-216
    Number of pages13
    JournalTransportation Research, Part B: Methodological
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Transportation

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Activity-travel behavior
    • Domestic helpers
    • Household interactions
    • Models of time allocation


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