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Intra-Household Work Timing: The Effect on Joint Activities and the Demand for Child Care

  • van Klaveren, Chris


    (Maastricht University)

  • Maassen van den Brink, Henriette


    (University of Amsterdam)

  • van Praag, Bernard M. S.


    (University of Amsterdam)

This study examines if couples time their work hours and how this work timing influences child care demand and the time that spouses jointly spend on leisure, household chores and child care. By using a innovative matching strategy, this studies identifies the timing of work hours that cannot be explained by factors other than the partners' potential to communicate on the timing of their work. The main findings are that couples with children create less overlap in their work times and this effect is more pronounced the younger the children. We find evidence for a togetherness preference of spouses, but only for childless couples. Work timing also influences the joint time that is spent on household chores, but the effect is small. Finally, work timing behavior affects the demand for informal child care, but not the demand for formal child care.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5636.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5636
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  1. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  2. Hallberg, Daniel, 2002. "Synchronous Leisure, Jointness and Household Labor Supply," Working Paper Series 2002:11, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  3. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 91-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  4. Lutz C. Kaiser, 2006. "Female Labor Market Transitions in Europe," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 606, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2000. "Togetherness: Spouses' Synchronous Leisure, and the Impact of Children," NBER Working Papers 7455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Laurent Lesnard, 2004. "Schedules as sequences: a new method to analyze the use of time based on collective rhythm with an application to the work arrangements of French dual-earner couples," 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. 1(1), pages 60-84, August.
  7. Chris Klaveren & Henriette Brink, 2007. "Intra-household work time synchronization," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 84(1), pages 39-52, October.
  8. Strazdins, Lyndall & Korda, Rosemary J. & Lim, Lynette L-Y. & Broom, Dorothy H. & D'Souza, Rennie M., 2004. "Around-the-clock: parent work schedules and children's well-being in a 24-h economy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 1517-1527, October.
  9. Kaiser, Lutz C., 2006. "Female Labor Market Transitions in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 2115, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Del Boca, Daniela & Vuri, Daniela, 2005. "Labor Supply and Child Care Costs: The Effect of Rationing," IZA Discussion Papers 1779, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Daniel Hallberg & Anders Klevmarken, 2003. "Time for children: A study of parent's time allocation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 205-226, 05.
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