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Time for Children: Trends in the Employment Patterns of Parents, 1967–2009

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  • Liana Fox

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  • Wen-Jui Han
  • Christopher Ruhm
  • Jane Waldfogel

Abstract

Using data from the 1967–2009 years of the March Current Population Surveys (CPS), we examine two important resources for children’s well-being: time and money. We document trends in parental employment, from the perspective of children, and show what underlies these trends. We find that increases in family work hours mainly reflect movements into jobs by parents—particularly mothers, who in prior decades would have remained at home. This increase in market work has raised incomes for children in the typical two-parent family but not for those in lone-parent households. Time use data from 1975 and 2003–2008 reveal that working parents spend less time engaged in primary childcare than their counterparts without jobs but more than employed peers in previous cohorts. Analysis of 2004 work schedule data suggests that non-daytime work provides an alternative method of coordinating employment schedules for some dual-earner families. Copyright Population Association of America 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Liana Fox & Wen-Jui Han & Christopher Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2013. "Time for Children: Trends in the Employment Patterns of Parents, 1967–2009," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(1), pages 25-49, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:1:p:25-49
    DOI: 10.1007/s13524-012-0138-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hashimzade, Nigar, 2020. "Endogenous preferences for parenting and macroeconomic outcomes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 172(C), pages 267-279.
    2. Benjamin Scharadin & Edward C. Jaenicke, 2020. "Time spent on childcare and the household Healthy Eating Index," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 357-386, June.
    3. Hyunkuk Cho, 2017. "The Effects of Fathers’ Working Hours on Youth Behavior: Evidence from a Change in the Standard Workweek," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 33, pages 295-324.
    4. Justo, Rachida & DeTienne, Dawn R. & Sieger, Philipp, 2015. "Failure or voluntary exit? Reassessing the female underperformance hypothesis," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 775-792.
    5. Künn-Nelen, A.C. & de Grip, A. & Fouarge, D., 2013. "The relation between maternal work hours and cognitive outcomes of young school-aged children," ROA Research Memorandum 007, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    6. Melinda Morrill & Sabrina Pabilonia, 2015. "What effects do macroeconomic conditions have on the time couples with children spend together?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 791-814, December.
    7. Frank Heiland & Joseph Price & Riley Wilson, 2017. "Maternal employment and time investments in children," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 53-67, March.
    8. Annemarie Künn-Nelen & Andries Grip & Didier Fouarge, 2015. "The Relation Between Maternal Work Hours and the Cognitive Development of Young School-Aged Children," De Economist, Springer, vol. 163(2), pages 203-232, June.
    9. Miriam Beblo & Anne Solaz, 2019. "New spouse, same chores? The division of household labor in consecutive unions," Working Papers 1, French Institute for Demographic Studies.
    10. Kalena E. Cortes & Hans D.U. Fricke & Susanna Loeb & David S. Song & Benjamin N. York, 2019. "When Behavioral Barriers are Too High or Low – How Timing Matters for Parenting Interventions," NBER Working Papers 25964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jack Lam & Martin O’Flaherty & Janeen Baxter, 2018. "Dynamics of Parental Work Hours, Job Security, and Child Behavioural Problems in Australian Dual-Earner Families," Child Indicators Research, Springer;The International Society of Child Indicators (ISCI), vol. 11(5), pages 1477-1493, October.
    12. Marina Gorsuch, 2016. "Decomposing the increase in men’s time on childcare during the great recession," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 53-82, March.
    13. Sarah See, 2016. "Parental supervision and adolescent risky behaviors," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 185-206, March.
    14. Francesco Agostinelli & Giuseppe Sorrenti, 2018. "Money vs. Time: Family Income, Maternal Labor Supply, and Child Development," Working Papers 2018-017, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    15. Amy Hsin & Christina Felfe, 2014. "When Does Time Matter? Maternal Employment, Children’s Time With Parents, and Child Development," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(5), pages 1867-1894, October.
    16. Patrick Bauer & Lyudmyla Sonchak, 2017. "The effect of macroeconomic conditions on parental time with children: evidence from the American time use survey," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 905-924, September.
    17. Jaeseung Kim, 2020. "Workplace Flexibility and Parent–Child Interactions Among Working Parents in the U.S," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 151(2), pages 427-469, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Parental employment; Time use; Tag-team parenting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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