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Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter?

42 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2005  

Joseph Price

Brigham Young University

Date Written: September 2006


Using data from the American Time Use Survey, I find that a first-born child receives 20-30 more minutes of quality time each day with his or her parent than a second-born child of the same age from a similar family. The birth order difference results from parents giving roughly equal time to each child at any point in time while the amount of parent-child quality time decreases as children get older. These results provide a plausible explanation for recent research showing a very significant effect of birth order on child outcomes.

Keywords: birth order, family size, children, time-use, parent

JEL Classification: J13, J22, D1

Suggested Citation

Price, Joseph, Parent-Child Quality Time: Does Birth Order Matter? (September 2006). Available at SSRN: or

Joseph Price (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University ( email )

130 FOB
Provo, NY 84604
United States


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