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Asymmetries and interdependencies in time use between Italian parents


  • Mancini, Anna Laura
  • Pasqua, Silvia


In recent decades, changes in parents' attitudes towards the importance of spending time with children to optimise their future behaviour and cognitive development have greatly affected patterns of time allocation among both working and non-working parents in all developed countries. We compare the two waves of the Italian Time Use dataset (1988 and 2002) to analyze how family time allocation changed over time in a country that was undergoing a marked increase in female employment rate and a continuous decline in total fertility rate. We focus especially on how parents' time with their children depends on their employment status and household characteristics. Using a simultaneous sequential approach, we consider links among the different time uses of individuals and correlations with spouses' decisions. We find that wives' time at work time strongly influences the time spent by both spouses with their children in 2002, but not in 1988. Fathers were much more involved in childcare and rearing in 2002 than in 1988. In general, as women's work time increased, substitutes for their childcare time were found within the household (fathers or other co-resident adults).

Suggested Citation

  • Mancini, Anna Laura & Pasqua, Silvia, 2011. "Asymmetries and interdependencies in time use between Italian parents," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-005, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:11005

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ammermüller, Andreas & Dolton, Peter J., 2006. "Pupil-teacher gender interaction effects on scholastic outcomes in England and the USA," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-060, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. George Argyrous & Sara Rahman, 2017. "How does paid work affect who does the childcare? An analysis of the time use of Australian couples," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 383-398, June.
    2. Andreassen, Leif & Di Tommaso, Maria Laura & Maccagnan, Anna, 2015. "Do Men Care? Men’s Supply Of Unpaid Labour," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201545, University of Turin.
    3. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9287-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Simona Suardi, 2016. "Child Care, Maternal Employment, and Children’s School Outcomes. An Analysis of Italian Data," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(2), pages 211-229, May.

    More about this item


    Time use; parents; children;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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