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The Division of Labor by New Parents: Does Child Gender Matter?

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  • Lundberg, Shelly

    () (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Abstract

This paper documents some distinct and surprising patterns of specialization among new parents in the NLSY79. Child gender has significant effects on the labor supply of both mothers and father, and these effects are opposite at the two ends of the education spectrum – boys reduce specialization among the college-educated and increase specialization among parents with less than a high school education. Estimates from the recent American Time Use Survey are generally consistent with the NLSY79 findings, and indicate that highly-educated parents devote more childcare time to young sons. The labor supply results are inconsistent with previous research that found boys substantially increase the work hours of their fathers relative to girls but have no effect on mother’s work hours. Possible explanations for the heterogeneous responses to sons and daughters across education groups include a bias towards same-sex parental inputs as desired child quality increases and child gender effects on the relative bargaining power of the mother and father. No evidence of improved maternal bargaining power can be found in the leisure consumption of mothers of young sons in the ATUS, but patterns in parental childcare time suggest gender differences in child production functions.

Suggested Citation

  • Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "The Division of Labor by New Parents: Does Child Gender Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 1787, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1787
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Francesconi, Marco & Heckman, James J., 2016. "Symposium on Child Development and Parental Investment: Introduction," IZA Discussion Papers 9977, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Choi, Hyung-Jai & Joesch, Jutta M. & Lundberg, Shelly, 2008. "Sons, daughters, wives, and the labour market outcomes of West German men," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 795-811, October.
    3. Francesconi, Marco & Heckman, James J, 2015. "Symposium on Child Development and Parental Investment: Introduction," Economics Discussion Papers 16868, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    4. Andrew Leigh, 2009. "Does child gender affect marital status? Evidence from Australia," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 22(2), pages 351-366, April.
    5. Choi, Hyung-Jai & Joesch, Jutta M. & Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "Work and Family: Marriage, Children, Child Gender and the Work Hours and Earnings of West German Men," IZA Discussion Papers 1761, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Laura Giuliano, 2007. "The Demand for Sons or the Demand for Fathers? Understanding the Effects of Child Gender on Divorce Rates," Working Papers 0724, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    7. Qing Wang, 2015. "Child Gender, Intergenerational Kinship and Parental Labor Market Outcomes," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 892-907, November.
    8. Elisabeth Gugl & Linda Welling, 2012. "Time with sons and daughters," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 277-298, June.
    9. El Lahga, AbdelRahmen & Moreau, Nicolas, 2007. "The Effects of Marriage on Couples’ Allocation of Time Between Market and Non-Market Hours," IZA Discussion Papers 2619, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Pham-Kanter, Genevieve, 2010. "The Gender Weight Gap: Sons, Daughters, and Maternal Weight," MPRA Paper 28997, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Andrew Leigh, 2006. "Does Child Gender Affect Marital Status?," CEPR Discussion Papers 526, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    child gender; parenthood; labor supply; time allocation; specialization;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • 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

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    1. Papers and articles using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS)

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