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Human Capital Investments in Children: A Comparative Analysis of the Role of Parent-Child Shared Time in Selected Countries

  • Österbacka, Eva


    (Abo Akademi University)

  • Merz, Joachim


    (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

  • Zick, Cathleen D.


    (University of Utah)

Parents invest in their children's human capital in several ways. We investigate the extent to which the levels and composition of parent-child time varies across countries with different welfare regimes: Finland, Germany and the United States. We test the hypothesis of parent-child time as a form of human capital investment in children using a propensity score treatment effects approach that accounts for the possible endogenous nature of time use and human capital investment. Result: There is considerable evidence of welfare regime effects on parent-child shared time. Our results provide mixed support for the hypothesis that non-care related parent-child time is human capital enriching. The strongest support is found in the case of leisure time and eating time.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5084.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5084
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  1. Suzanne Bianchi, 2000. "Maternal employment and time with children: Dramatic change or surprising continuity?," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 401-414, November.
  2. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "How Robust is the Evidence on the Effects of College Quality? Evidence From Matching," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20033, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  3. Merz, Joachim & Wolff, Klaus G, 1993. "The Shadow Economy: Illicit Work and Household Production: A Microanalysis of West Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(2), pages 177-94, June.
  4. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  5. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  6. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 19 Jan 2015.
  9. Klevmarken, N.A., 1998. "Microeconomic Analysis of Time-Use Data. Did We Reach the Promised Land?," Papers 1998-12, Uppsala - Working Paper Series.
  10. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 8769.
  11. Satvika Chalasani, 2007. "The changing relationship between parents’ education and their time with children," electronic International Journal of Time Use Research, Research Institute on Professions (Forschungsinstitut Freie Berufe (FFB)) and The International Association for Time Use Research (IATUR), vol. 4(1), pages 93-117, September.
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