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Single Mothers’ Time Preference, Smoking, and Enriching Childcare: Evidence from Time Diaries


  • Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia

    (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Productivity and Technology, 2 Massachusetts Ave., NE Rm. 2180, Washington, DC 20212, USA)

  • Younghwan Song

    (Department of Economics, Union College, Schenectady, NY 12308, USA)


Previous research has shown that time preference affects individuals’ market time allocation and own human capital investments. This paper uses data from the Current Population Survey-Tobacco Use Supplements, the American Time Use Survey, and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics-Child Development Supplement to examine how time preference, as measured by smoking behavior, affects mothers’ time investments in their children under age 13 and children's future test scores. The results indicate that single mothers who smoke spend significantly less time with their children in educational activities, such as reading and homework, and sharing meals with their children than non-smokers. Their children also have lower reading test scores.

Suggested Citation

  • Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia & Younghwan Song, 2013. "Single Mothers’ Time Preference, Smoking, and Enriching Childcare: Evidence from Time Diaries," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 227-255.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:39:y:2013:i:2:p:227-255

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Morrill, Melinda Sandler & Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff, 2012. "What Effects Do Macroeconomic Conditions Have on Families' Time Together?," IZA Discussion Papers 6529, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Gunseli Berik & Ebru Kongar, 2011. "Time Use of Mothers and Fathers in Hard Times and Better Times: The US Business Cycle of 2003-10," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_696, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. Günseli Berik & Ebru Kongar, 2011. "Time Use of Mothers and Fathers in Hard Times and Better Times: the U.S. Business Cycle of 2003-2010," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2011_16, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
    4. Susan E. Mayer & Ariel Kalil & Philip Oreopoulos & Sebastian Gallegos, 2015. "Using Behavioral Insights to Increase Parental Engagement: The Parents and Children Together (PACT) Intervention," NBER Working Papers 21602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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