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Holding the Pencil or Buying Paint: Parental Childcare Versus Children’s Need for Extra Income. The Case of Belgium, Denmark and Spain


  • Joris Ghysels



This article addresses the influence of child characteristics on couples’ decision-making regarding employment and parental childcare. Through simultaneous equation modeling we are able to separate earnings from care motives in this decision-making process. An empirical exercise on Belgian data illustrates how the earnings motive counteracts the care motive and causes a rise in the probability of a full-time job following an increase of the number of children. However, replication on Danish and Spanish data also suggests that a country’s incentive framework provides important limits to couples’ decision-making. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Joris Ghysels, 2005. "Holding the Pencil or Buying Paint: Parental Childcare Versus Children’s Need for Extra Income. The Case of Belgium, Denmark and Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 269-289, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:3:y:2005:i:3:p:269-289
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-005-3458-y

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    More about this item


    time allocation; household production; labor supply; childcare; D13; J22;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply


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