The Care Economy and Parental Time Use With Children in Developed and Developing Economies

Paper Session

Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 12:30 PM – 2:15 PM

Swissotel Chicago, Montreux 3
Hosted By: Association for the Study of Generosity in Economics & International Association for Feminist Economics
  • Chair: Joyce Jacobsen, Wesleyan University

Childcare Arrangements in the United States and Parental Engagement With Children at Home: Distributional Analysis

Tamar Khitarishvili
,
Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
Kijong Kim
,
Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
Nancy Folbre
,
University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Abstract

Differences in children’s outcomes by parents’ socioeconomic background are evident by as early as their third birthday and are transmitted into adult labor market outcomes, perpetuating socioeconomic inequality. This is to a large degree because parents from high-income families tend to spend more time with their children and engage more in enrichment activities than parents from low-income families. Quality childcare provisioning can reduce the resulting inequality by improving the outcomes of children from low-income families. Analyses of the mechanisms through which this happens have focused on the direct educational and social benefits of childcare on children’s development. However, we know relatively little about the impact of childcare on children’s outcomes vis-à-vis parental engagement. In this paper, we investigate the extent to which the amount and quality of parental engagement with children is affected by the type and quality of childcare arrangements in families of different economic means, with a particular focus on the role of child-care provider/parent interactions. We use the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) data and the Birth Cohort data of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-B). Our analysis provides a meaningful contribution to the policy debate regarding the role of childcare provisioning in reducing the inequality in children’s outcomes vis-à-vis parental engagement.

Has Universal Childcare Policy Alleviated Parental Time Burdens and Influenced Parental Engagement With Children? The Case of South Korea

Jooyeoun Suh
,
University of Oxford
Kijong Kim
,
Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

Abstract

Public child care policies are commonly aimed at raising the female labor force participation and the paid work time of mothers with young children. One of their consequences is the influence they have on the parental time use with children. South Korean government introduced means-tested child care programs in 1999 and since 2013 has provided universal child care subsidies to all parents with children between 0 and 5 years old. In this paper, we provide quasi-experimental evidence on the impact of the universal childcare program on parental engagement with children and on the childcare time burdens of South Korean mothers and fathers. We undertake this analysis by using 2004, 2009, and 2014 Korean Time Use Survey data, applying the difference-in-difference method.

Does ‘Doing Care’ Mean Less Child Care? Insights From the Indian Time Use Survey

Avanti Mukherjee
,
University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Abstract

This paper examines the trade-off between child care and other work in rural India. Bargaining models suggest that women who earn incomes can reduce “housework”, and in turn could provide better care. However, women in developing countries often have to manage paid work and unpaid work, including care in the same time and space, resulting in overwork, or stress, or both. Building on theories of “doing gender" and institutional bargaining, I argue that women "do care" even with paid work because they are culturally obliged to, and also because tasks such as making food, fetching water are immediate. Yet, women also face a “care paradox” where they have to sacrifice time to direct hands-on child care to ensure other tasks supporting child care, such as cooking, fetching water, and earning income get done. I employ the Indian Time Use Survey to evaluate whether (a) time to direct child care is lower when women's time to other work is higher, and (b) time to direct child care is lower when women's time to indirect care, such as cooking, is higher. I also use data gathered from central India to outline qualitative details explaining how this paradox comes about. My results have strong implications for strengthening public care provision in India.
Discussant(s)
Jooyeoun Suh
,
University of Oxford
Tamar Khitarishvili
,
Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
Kijong Kim
,
Levy Economics Institute of Bard College
JEL Classifications
  • D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics
  • J1 - Demographic Economics