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By What Measure? Family Time Devoted to Children in the U.S

Author

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  • Nancy Folbre

    () (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • Jayoung Yoon
  • Kade Finnoff
  • Allison Sidle Fuligni

Abstract

We argue that previous research on time devoted to child care has devoted insufficient attention to the definition and conceptualization of care time. Three separate problems are evident. First, the conventional focus on explicit activities with children distracts attention from the larger responsibilities of "passive" care, which ranges from time when children are sleeping to time when they are in the same room but not engaged in an activity with parents. Second, empirical analysis of activity time focuses almost exclusively on parents, overlooking the role of relatives such as grandmothers and siblings. Third, measurement of active care time typically ignores the impact of overlaps among both care providers and recipients. Our analysis of the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics sheds light on these three problems and develops new measures of passive and active care time. Statistical analysis shows that new measures have important implications for the amount of parental care that children in single-parent and two-parent households receive.

Suggested Citation

  • Nancy Folbre & Jayoung Yoon & Kade Finnoff & Allison Sidle Fuligni, 2004. "By What Measure? Family Time Devoted to Children in the U.S," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2004-06, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ums:papers:2004-06
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    File URL: http://www.umass.edu/economics/publications/2004-06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2000. "Togetherness: Spouses' Synchronous Leisure, and the Impact of Children," NBER Working Papers 7455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mullan, Killian, 2006. "Quantifying parental childcare in the United Kingdom," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-49, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Berenice Monna & Anne Gauthier, 2008. "A Review of the Literature on the Social and Economic Determinants of Parental Time," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 634-653, December.
    3. Pratt, James E., 2009. "The Regional Economic Value of Nonmarket Household Production Time: Combining an I-O Framework with Time Use Date," Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, vol. 39(1).
    4. Jonathan Guryan & Erik Hurst & Melissa Kearney, 2008. "Parental Education and Parental Time with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 23-46, Summer.
    5. Foster, Gigi & Kalenkoski, Charlene M., 2012. "Measuring the Relative Productivity of Multitasking to Sole-tasking in Household Production: New Experimental Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 6763, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Charlene Kalenkoski & David Ribar & Leslie Stratton, 2007. "The effect of family structure on parents’ child care time in the United States and the United Kingdom," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 353-384, December.
    7. Nancy Folbre & Jayoung Yoon, 2007. "What is child care? Lessons from time-use surveys of major English-speaking countries," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 223-248, September.
    8. Maria Gutiérrez-Domènech, 2010. "Parental employment and time with children in Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 371-391, September.
    9. Rasmussen, Astrid Würtz, 2009. "Allocation of Parental Time and the Long-Term E¤ect on Children's Education," Working Papers 09-22, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    10. Jennifer Foster & Charlene Kalenkoski, 2010. "The Multitasking of Household Production," Discussion Papers 2010-02, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
    11. Morrill, Melinda Sandler & Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff, 2012. "What Effects Do Macroeconomic Conditions Have on Families' Time Together?," IZA Discussion Papers 6529, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Heizler, Odelia & Kimhi, Ayal, 2011. "Does Family Composition Affect Social Networking?," Discussion Papers 121698, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    13. Wen You & George Davis, 2011. "Childhood Overweight: Does Quality of Parental Childcare Time Matter?," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 219-232, June.
    14. Charlene Kalenkoski & Gigi Foster, 2008. "The quality of time spent with children in Australian households," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 243-266, September.
    15. Benjamín Villena-Rodán & Cecilia Ríos-Aguilar, 2011. "Causal Effects of Maternal Time-Investment on Children's Cognitive Outcomes," Documentos de Trabajo 285, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
    16. Kristin Mammen, 2011. "Fathers’ time investments in children: do sons get more?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 839-871, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conception and measurement of care time; the PSID-CDS; family time; active and passive care; overlapping care time; care density; family structure;

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