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Do We Invest Less Time in Children? Trends in Parental Time in Selected Industrialized Countries Since the 1960's

  • Anne H. Gauthier


    (Department of Sociology, University of Calgary)

  • Timothy M. Smeeding
  • Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr.


    (Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania)

Registered author(s):

    This paper examines trends in parental time in selected industrialized countries since the 1960s using time-use survey data. Despite the time pressures to which today’s families are confronted, parents appear to be devoting more time to children than they did some 40 years ago. Results also suggest a decrease in the differences between fathers and mothers in time devoted to children. Mothers continue to devote more time to childcare than fathers, but the gender gap has been reduced. These results are observed in several countries and therefore suggest a large global trend towards an increase in parental time investment with their children.

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    Paper provided by Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University in its series Center for Policy Research Working Papers with number 64.

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    Length: 44 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Jun 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:64
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    1. Miller, Paul & Mulvey, Charles, 2000. "Women's Time Allocation to Child Care: Determinants and Consequences," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 1-24, March.
    2. C. Russell Hill & Frank P. Stafford, 1974. "Allocation of Time to Preschool Children and Educational Opportunity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 9(3), pages 323-341.
    3. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages S143-62, August.
    4. Suzanne Bianchi, 2000. "Maternal employment and time with children: Dramatic change or surprising continuity?," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 401-414, November.
    5. Gronau, Reuben, 1977. "Leisure, Home Production, and Work-The Theory of the Allocation of Time Revisited," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1099-1123, December.
    6. Michael Bittman, 1999. "Parenthood Without Penalty: Time Use And Public Policy In Australia And Finland," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 27-42.
    7. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:87:y:1973:i:4:p:634-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. C. Russell Hill & Frank P. Stafford, 1980. "Parental Care of Children: Time Diary Estimates of Quantity, Predictability, and Variety," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(2), pages 219-239.
    9. Leibowitz, Arleen, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S111-S131, Part II, .
    10. 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.
    11. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 111-135 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. 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, .
    13. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 432-456 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Jonathan Gershuny & John Robinson, 1988. "Historical changes in the household division of labor," Demography, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 537-552, November.
    15. Gershuny, Jonathan, 2000. "Changing Times: Work and Leisure in Postindustrial Society," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287872.
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