Intra-Household Work Timing: The Effect on Joint Activities and the Demand for Child Care
We examine the work timing behavior of spouses. With work timing we mean the behavior that results in the performance of paid labor at the same time, that cannot be explained by factors other than the partners' potential to communicate on the timing of their work. We find that couples with children create less overlap in their work times and this effect is more pronounced the younger the children. In general, the household types that create relatively more work time overlap are households with higher educated women, with a higher household income, with less children, and with spouses who are more in control of their own working times. We find evidence for a togetherness preference of spouses, but we only find this togetherness preference for childless couples. Also, the joint time that spouses spend on household chores is significantly related to how couples time their working hours, but the correlation that is found is very small. There is no evidence that the timing of work hours affects the time that parents spend jointly on child care. Work timing behavior affects the demand for informal child care, but not the demand for formal child care. Parents with young children create relatively more overlap in their work times and demand more informal child care.
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