Historisk tidskrift 129:1 • 2009
Innehåll (Contents) 2009:1
Ekonomisk tillväxt, genusarbetsdelning och obetalt hemarbete
i historisk belysning
Economic growth, gendered division of labour and unpaid domestic
services in historical perspective
This article discusses the significance of the inclusion or
exclusion of unpaid domestic services in historical national
accounts. In the official Swedish national accounts unpaid
domestic services are not included in calculations of Gross
Do- mestic Product (GDP), although international guidelines
recommend the use of Household Satellite Account.
Based on the time use studies for 1964 and 2000/2001, the
article analyses the period 1964–2000. During this period the
proportion between hours worked in unpaid domestic services
and paid work, respectively, did not change significantly.
However, a fundamental change in the gendered division of labour
took place. Men increased their share of unpaid domestic services
substantially whereas wo- men increased their share of paid
The inclusion of unpaid domestic services in historical national
accounts changes perceptions of long-term economic growth and
structural change. For example, the increase in the relative
size of the service sector during the second half of the 20th
century can largely be explained by the increasing rate of
parti- cipation of women in the labour market.
The article finds that the rate of economic growth in the
post-war period would most likely be reduced if unpaid domestic
services were to be included in GDP, but probably not by more
than 0.1–0.3 percentage points per year.
Gross Domestic Product, Historical National Accounts, Household
Satellite Account, economic growth, domestic services, feminist