Do fathers Care?
This paper aims at carrying out an international comparison of fathers’ caring time. The time fathers dedicate to caring for their children is typically constrained by the longer working hours culture and the lesser incentives for fathers to take up childcare leave. This paper draws a tentative comparison of the situation in different countries on the basis of time use data as well as data on take up rates of childcare leave. Data from the Multinational Time Use Survey (MTUS) collected at Essex, and from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) are used for the analysis. The responsiveness of father’s childcare time to working time patterns of mothers is investigated by means of descriptive analysis and of econometric multivariate analysis. Policies to combine work and family specifically addressed at fathers in different OECD countries are briefly reviewed and their impact on fathers’ caring behaviour is assessed. It is concluded that substantial differences in gender time investment on caring for children persist, which may impact on women’s labour market performance, and that policies to provide fathers with incentives to participate further in childcare are needed.
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