Fertility and Family Time Allocation
Colgate Univ. Economics Disc. Paper #95-04
Posted: 5 Feb 1997
Date Written: 1995
Small children, especially infants, are very time intensive. Consequently, as total household time in child care increases after a birth, the time spent in other activities (market work, housework, leisure) must decline. While several studies have examined the relationship between fertility and female labor supply, the relationships between fertility and mothers' non-market time allocation and the market and non-market time allocation of fathers and older children have received little attention. Using data from Cebu Island, Philippines, which include detailed information on the time allocation of all household members, the average time spent in child care, market work, housework, and leisure by mothers, fathers, and older children in nuclear families is estimated. Because the data set is longitudinal, including a baseline survey before the birth of the sample child and four postnatal surveys which include data on time allocation, the relationship between the birth of the sample child and time allocation can be estimated. The total sample of nuclear is divided into four groups based on household composition before the birth of the sample child: 1) households with no previous children, 2) households with only young children (under age 6), 3) households with both young and older children, and 4) households with only older children. Comparing the estimates of the effects of the sample child on time allocation across these four groups indicates if the time costs of children differ by birth order and birth spacing. By examining the estimations for all household members together, a more complete picture of how the birth of an additional child affects family time allocation can be constructed. These overall results provide insight into which household members bear the time costs of additional children.
JEL Classification: J13, J22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation