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Parental Employment and their Quality Time with Children

Emiko Usui and Miki Kobayashi

Economic Review, 2016, vol. 67, issue 1, 69-87

Abstract: We use data from the Japanese Longitudinal Survey on Employment and Fertility (LOSEF) to examine the relationship between parental employment and their quality time with children. Specifically, we focus on three quality-time activities : reading together, helping with homework, and eating together. We find that while mothers working full-time spend less time helping children with homework than those who do not work full-time, fathers compensate for some of this lost quality time. Combined, however, the total time spent by parents with full-time working mothers on helping with homework is less than that of parents with stay-at home mothers; therefore, fathers make up for some but not all of the quality time lost. We also find that fathers who workover 60 hours per week spend less time on helping with homework and eating together than those who do not work more than 60 hours. Incidentally, mothers with at least some college education and fathers with a college education spend more time reading to their children than their less-educated counterparts. If fathers can reduce their long working hours, there is potential for them to increase quality time with their children. As a result, fathers might be able to help mothers reduce time with their children, thereby facilitating mothers' participation in the labor market.

JEL-codes: J13 J16 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.15057/27681

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Handle: RePEc:hit:ecorev:v:67:y:2016:i:1:p:69-87