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Parental child care during and outside of typical work hours

Parental child care during and outside of typical work hours
Parental child care during and outside of typical work hours
It has been argued that when analyzing time use data, child care should be treated separately from leisure or housework because, unlike these two, its income gradient is positive. Using U.S. data from PSID-CDS, this paper computes parental child care during and outside of typical work hours (TWH) by income quintile for two-parent families. The TWH distinction is important because during TWH the opportunity cost of spending time with children is first and foremost in terms of forgone earnings, while outside of TWH it is mainly in terms of leisure or housework. Indeed, I find that during TWH active child care is actually decreasing in income and, hence, behaves a lot like leisure and other household chores. Outside of TWH, fathers partly catch up to mothers especially in high income families. Indeed, mothers' child care is still slightly decreasing in income, while fathers' active care is increasing. Implications for theory are derived in a static framework of time allocation and child quality production which encompasses the recent literature on the topic. Similar to patterns in leisure and housework, the variation in child care during TWH can be rationalized by assuming a high elasticity of substitution between leisure, consumption and child quality where the substitution effect dominates the income effect. However, the facts outside of TWH point to systematic differences by income in preferences or productivity. For instance, assuming father's productivity in child care is increasing, while mother's is decreasing in income could be a potential rationale for the observed behavior.
2042-4116
70
University of Southampton
Schoonbroodt, Alice
a3f09983-5227-4b82-8db7-f9098ae2dff5
McGowan, Teresa
4524e894-04de-4822-8508-f4b966e12ae2
Schoonbroodt, Alice
a3f09983-5227-4b82-8db7-f9098ae2dff5
McGowan, Teresa
4524e894-04de-4822-8508-f4b966e12ae2

Schoonbroodt, Alice , McGowan, Teresa (ed.) (2015) Parental child care during and outside of typical work hours (ESRC Centre for Population Change Working Papers, 70) Southampton, GB. University of Southampton 53pp.

Record type: Monograph (Working Paper)

Abstract

It has been argued that when analyzing time use data, child care should be treated separately from leisure or housework because, unlike these two, its income gradient is positive. Using U.S. data from PSID-CDS, this paper computes parental child care during and outside of typical work hours (TWH) by income quintile for two-parent families. The TWH distinction is important because during TWH the opportunity cost of spending time with children is first and foremost in terms of forgone earnings, while outside of TWH it is mainly in terms of leisure or housework. Indeed, I find that during TWH active child care is actually decreasing in income and, hence, behaves a lot like leisure and other household chores. Outside of TWH, fathers partly catch up to mothers especially in high income families. Indeed, mothers' child care is still slightly decreasing in income, while fathers' active care is increasing. Implications for theory are derived in a static framework of time allocation and child quality production which encompasses the recent literature on the topic. Similar to patterns in leisure and housework, the variation in child care during TWH can be rationalized by assuming a high elasticity of substitution between leisure, consumption and child quality where the substitution effect dominates the income effect. However, the facts outside of TWH point to systematic differences by income in preferences or productivity. For instance, assuming father's productivity in child care is increasing, while mother's is decreasing in income could be a potential rationale for the observed behavior.

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More information

Published date: 7 October 2015
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography, Centre for Population Change

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 382596
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/382596
ISSN: 2042-4116
PURE UUID: cd58952c-73bf-4920-b1ca-dfdf4c16acd8

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Date deposited: 09 Oct 2015 14:16
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 20:20

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