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Parents' primary and secondary childcare time adjustment to market time: Evidence from Australian mothers and fathers


  • Huong Dinh
  • Maria Racionero


Do mothers and fathers differ in the way they trade off childcare time for market time? We examine the effects of increases in own and partner's market time on parents' primary and secondary childcare time. We use time-diary data on couples with children from the 2006 Australian Time Use Survey and employ a system of censored regression equations of the time parents spend in primary childcare, secondary childcare and market work. We find that mothers and fathers adjust their childcare time differently depending on which partner (father or mother) changes market time, which childcare type (primary or secondary) is considered and the age group their youngest child belongs to (less than 5 years or 5-14 years old). Our results suggest that there is a gender difference in the way each member of the couple adjusts primary and secondary childcare time in response to an increase in own or partner’s market time that may need to be accounted for when considering policies to promote female labour participation.

Suggested Citation

  • Huong Dinh & Maria Racionero, 2016. "Parents' primary and secondary childcare time adjustment to market time: Evidence from Australian mothers and fathers," CEPR Discussion Papers 695, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:auu:dpaper:695

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    childcare time; market time; gender; time use;

    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

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