Conditional Cash Transfers and Intrahousehold Time Allocation: Evidence from Urban Mexico
45 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2021 Last revised: 23 Oct 2022
Date Written: October 21, 2022
This paper quantifies the impact of a conditional cash transfer targeted to mothers on the allocation of time within the household. Since time is a resource allocated in ways that reflect sharp patterns of gender inequality, I explore the extent to which a gender-asymmetric impact on parental time use can be informative of changes in beneficiary households' decision-making structure. Within two-parent households, participation in Mexico’s Oportunidades significantly increased mothers' weekly leisure hours through a reduction in their time devoted to housework while slightly reducing their spouses' leisure hours. I further show that such increase in mothers' leisure is not robust across household structure as participation in Oportunidades did not significantly affect single mothers' leisure, thereby ruling out a pure income effect. Interpreting such heterogeneity in parental time use responses to the program within a non-unitary household model, I provide suggestive evidence of an empowerment effect in favor of mothers.
Keywords: Time allocation, home production, women's empowerment
JEL Classification: D13, J16, O12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation