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Childcare and Commitment within Households


  • Paula Eugenia Gobbi


This paper proposes a semi-cooperative marital decision process to explain parentalunderinvestment in childcare. First, parents collectively choose the amount of labor tosupply and, in a second step, they each choose the amount of childcare as the outcomeof a Cournot game. Non-cooperative behavior stems from the lack of a credible commitmentbetween spouses regarding the amount of childcare they each supply. Thetheoretical model is able to reproduce that parental time with children increases bothwith an individual's education and with that of his/her partner. The limited commitmentproblem leads to an underinvestment in childcare and, hence, child quality:compared to the efficient provision of childcare, the semi-cooperative framework leadsto an amount of child quality that is 45% lower.

Suggested Citation

  • Paula Eugenia Gobbi, 2017. "Childcare and Commitment within Households," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2017-51, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/263384

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    Time Use; Childcare; Education; Semi-Cooperative Model; Structural Estimation;

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