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Market Work, Housework and Childcare: A Time Use Approach

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Raising children takes considerable time, particularly for women. Yet, the role of childcare time has received scant attention in the macroeconomics literature. We develop a life-cycle model in which the time dimension of childcare plays a central role. An important contribution of the paper is estimation of the parameters of a childcare production function using data on primary and secondary childcare time as reported in the American Time Use Survey (2003--2015). The model does a better job matching the observed life-cycle patterns of womens' time use than a model without childcare. Our counterfactual experiments show that the increase in the relative wage of women since the 1960s is an important factor in the increase in womens' work time; changes in fertility associated with the baby boom play a smaller role, and changes in the price of durables are found to have a negligible effect. We consider the effects of cheaper daycare. Not surprisingly, this experiment leads to greater use of daycare and more time allocated to market work. A knock-on effect of cheaper daycare is a substantial decline in primary childcare time.

Suggested Citation

  • Emanuela Cardia & Paul Gomme, 2017. "Market Work, Housework and Childcare: A Time Use Approach," Working Papers 15007, Concordia University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:crd:wpaper:15007
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    File URL: http://paulgomme.github.io/childcare-time-use-2017-12.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Pintea Mihaela, 2020. "Dynamics of female labor force participation and welfare with multiple social reference groups," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 20(1), pages 1-23, January.
    2. Job Boerma & Loukas Karabarbounis, 2021. "Inferring Inequality With Home Production," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(5), pages 2517-2556, September.
    3. Doepke, Matthias & Hannusch, Anne & Kindermann, Fabian & Tertilt, Michèle, 2022. "The Economics of Fertility: A New Era," IZA Discussion Papers 15224, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Delalibera, Bruno Ricardo & Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti, 2019. "Early childhood education and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 82-104.
    5. Henriques, C.O. & Marcenaro-Gutierrez, O.D. & Lopez-Agudo, Luis Alejandro, 2020. "Getting a balance in the life satisfaction determinants of full-time and part-time European workers," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 87-113.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Household Technology; Childcare; Women Labor Force Participation; Home Production;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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