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Heterogeneity in Early Life Investments: A Longitudinal Analysis of Children's Time Use

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  • Slawa Rokicki
  • Mark E. McGovern

Abstract

We examine socioeconomic heterogeneity in children's time use using diary data from two waves of a nationally representative longitudinal cohort study in Ireland. Children from disadvantaged households spend significantly less time reading, doing homework, and engaging in physical exercise and sport than their counterparts, and more time engaging in unstructured play. Though most gaps are relatively small at age 9, they widen considerably by age 13. This pattern is similar for girls and boys. Parental education appears to be a more important factor in family investment decisions about children's time use than household income. Given the important role of extra‐curricular activities in promoting cognitive and non‐cognitive skill development, the systematic differences in children's time use we document in this paper may contribute to cumulative disadvantage and widening skill gaps through adolescence and into adulthood.

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  • Slawa Rokicki & Mark E. McGovern, 2020. "Heterogeneity in Early Life Investments: A Longitudinal Analysis of Children's Time Use," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(3), pages 647-676, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:66:y:2020:i:3:p:647-676
    DOI: 10.1111/roiw.12440
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    Cited by:

    1. Hamermesh, Daniel S., 2020. "Moms' Time—Married or Not," IZA Discussion Papers 13997, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Mark E. McGovern & Slawa Rokicki, 2018. "The Great Recession, Household Income, and Children's Test Scores," CHaRMS Working Papers 18-05, Centre for HeAlth Research at the Management School (CHaRMS).
    3. Adrian Nieto Castro, 2019. "Television, time use and academic achievement: Evidence from a natural experiment," Discussion Papers 19/06, University of Nottingham, Granger Centre for Time Series Econometrics.

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    JEL classification:

    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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