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Childcare and commitment within households

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  • Gobbi, Paula E.

Abstract

This paper proposes a semi-cooperative marital decision process to explain parental underinvestment in childcare. First, parents collectively choose the amount of labor to supply and, in a second step, they each choose the amount of childcare as the outcome of a Cournot game. Non-cooperative behavior stems from the lack of a credible commitment between spouses regarding the amount of childcare they each supply. The theoretical model is able to reproduce the fact that parental time with children increases both with an individual's education and with that of his/her partner. The limited commitment problem leads to an underinvestment in childcare and, hence, child quality: compared to the efficient provision of childcare, the semi-cooperative framework leads to an amount of child quality that is 45% lower.

Suggested Citation

  • Gobbi, Paula E., 2018. "Childcare and commitment within households," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 503-551.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jetheo:v:176:y:2018:i:c:p:503-551
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jet.2018.04.010
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthias Doepke & Michèle Tertilt, 2019. "Does female empowerment promote economic development?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 309-343, December.
    2. de la Croix, David & Perrin, Faustine, 2018. "How far can economic incentives explain the French fertility and education transition?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 221-245.
    3. David de la Croix & Clara Delavallade, 2018. "Religions, Fertility, And Growth In Southeast Asia," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(2), pages 907-946, May.
    4. Paula E. Gobbi & Juliane Parys & Gregor Schwerhoff, 2018. "Intra‐household allocation of parental leave," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 51(1), pages 236-274, February.
    5. Michael Bar & Moshe Hazan & Oksana Leukhina & David Weiss & Hosny Zoabi, 2018. "Why did rich families increase their fertility? Inequality and marketization of child care," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 427-463, December.
    6. Alice Schoonbroodt, 2018. "Parental child care during and outside of typical work hours," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 453-476, June.
    7. David de la Croix & Faustine Perrin, 2016. "French Fertility and Education Transition: Rational Choice vs. Cultural Diffusion," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2016007, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    8. David de la Croix & Thomas Baudin, 2015. "La croissance économique," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2015021, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    9. Bar, Michael & Hazan, Moshe & Leukhina, Oksana & Weiss, David & Zoabi, Hosny, 2017. "Is The Market Pronatalist? Inequality, Differential Fertility, and Growth Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 12376, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Matthias Doepke & Michèle Tertilt, 2019. "Does female empowerment promote economic development?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 309-343, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Time use; Childcare; Education; Semi-cooperative model; Structural estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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