The Education Gradient in Maternal Enjoyment of Time in Childcare

50 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2020

See all articles by Ariel Kalil

Ariel Kalil

University of Chicago

Susan Mayer

University of Chicago

William Delgado

University of Chicago

Lisa Gennetian

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 17, 2020

Abstract

Studies document large differences in the amount of time mothers spend in childcare by maternal education, even when controlling for characteristics such as income, employment hours, and work schedules. One possible explanation for this observed difference is that highly educated mothers find time in childcare to be more enjoyable. To inform this hypothesis, we examine education-based differences in mothers’ average feelings during their time in childcare using pooled data from the 2010, 2012, and 2013 Well-being Modules of the American Time Use Survey. Among all mothers, spending time in childcare is associated with higher positive feelings than is spending time in other activities. However, highly educated mothers do not enjoy their time in childcare more than less-educated mothers. Findings are robust to controls for mother fixed effects.

Keywords: Maternal time in childcare, mothers’ enjoyment of childcare, maternal education, time use

JEL Classification: D19, J13

Suggested Citation

Kalil, Ariel and Mayer, Susan and Delgado, William and Gennetian, Lisa, The Education Gradient in Maternal Enjoyment of Time in Childcare (September 17, 2020). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2020-131, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3694723 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3694723

Ariel Kalil (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Susan Mayer

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

William Delgado

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Lisa Gennetian

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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