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Boy-Girl Differences in Parental Time Investments: Evidence from Three Countries

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  • Michael Baker
  • Kevin Milligan

Abstract

We study differences in parental time investments in preschool girls and boys in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We find that investments in teaching activities like reading favor girls, starting at very young ages. We document that these boy/girl differences may be quantitatively important in explaining corresponding school-age test score gaps. We explore a parental preference explanation of these results. We find little support for a parental preference for girls (or boys) at young ages. As a result, the investment gaps may be due to sex differences in production functions or in the costs of delivering human capital investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2016. "Boy-Girl Differences in Parental Time Investments: Evidence from Three Countries," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 399-441.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:doi:10.1086/688899
    DOI: 10.1086/688899
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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