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Children’s time use and family structure in Italy

Letizia Mencarini (), Silvia Pasqua () and Agnese Romiti ()

No 27, CHILD Working Papers Series from Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA

Abstract: A wide range of sociological and psychological studies have shown that children have different cognitive and behavioural outcomes depending on whether they grow up in intact or non-intact families. These gaps may be attributable to differences in the amounts of time and money parents invest in their children, which can in turn result in differences in the amount of time children invest in educational activities. In this paper, we investigate whether children who live with a single parent devote more or less time to reading and studying at home than children who live with both parents. We use data from the Italian Time Use Survey, which contains a detailed time diary for all of the family members in each surveyed household above the age of three. Focusing on children between five and 18 years old, and controlling for the endogeneity of the family structure, our analysis shows that living in a single-parent household reduces the amount of time children devote to reading and studying. This effect turns out to be driven by single parents—mainly single mothers—who are poor and less educated. In addition, the negative effect of living with a single parent is driven by male children, and is greater for children without siblings.

Keywords: children investments; children outcomes; time-use; single-parent household (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38 pages
Date: 2014
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem and nep-eur
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