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Parents' Separation: What is the Effect on Parents' and Children's Time Investments?

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  • Hélène Le Forner

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of parental separation on children's allocation of their time and on the time spent with their parents. Based on detailed time‐use diaries from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics – Child Development Supplement, I estimate an individual fixed‐effect model and find that being in a single‐parent family decreases time with a parent accessible by 18% of a standard deviation (3 hours 30 minutes per week). Time spent with both parents together and alone with the non‐custodial parent is greatly affected, but the custodial parent partially compensates for this decrease. The decrease in time with a parent actively engaged in activities is, however, not statistically significant. Younger children continue spending as much time with their parents after separation. Effects on boys and girls differ, but this difference depends on the type of parental time investment we consider. Time spent with a grandparent acts as a recovery channel in single‐mother families. Time with a step‐parent increases but does not lead to an accumulation of parental time.

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  • Hélène Le Forner, 2023. "Parents' Separation: What is the Effect on Parents' and Children's Time Investments?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 85(4), pages 718-754, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:85:y:2023:i:4:p:718-754
    DOI: 10.1111/obes.12529
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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