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Gender Differences in Childcare: Time Allocation in Five European Countries


  • Inmaculada García-Mainar
  • José Alberto Molina
  • Víctor M. Montuenga


This article analyses the intrahousehold allocation of time in households headed by heterosexual couples to show gender differences in childcare in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Using data for the five sample countries from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP; 1994-2001) and the framework of a general efficiency approach, each parent's hours spent on childcare are regressed against individual and household characteristics. Empirical results show a clear inequality in childcare between fathers and mothers, with this disparity being more evident in Mediterranean countries. Panel data estimates reveal that, in general, caring tasks are mainly influenced by the presence of young children in the household, by the total nonlabor income, and by the ratio of mothers' nonlabor income to family's nonlabor income, with this latter variable exhibiting different behavior across genders and across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Inmaculada García-Mainar & José Alberto Molina & Víctor M. Montuenga, 2011. "Gender Differences in Childcare: Time Allocation in Five European Countries," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 119-150, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:17:y:2011:i:1:p:119-150
    DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2010.542004

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