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The EITC and Maternal Time Use: More Time Working and Less Time with Kids?

Jacob Bastian () and Lance Lochner ()

No 27717, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Parents spend considerable sums investing in their children's development, with their own time among the most important forms of investment. Given well-documented effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on maternal labor supply, it is natural to ask how the EITC affects other time allocation decisions, especially time with children. We use the American Time Use Surveys to study the effects of EITC expansions since 2003 on time devoted to a broad array of activities, with considerable attention to the amount and nature of time spent with children. Our results confirm prior evidence that the EITC increases maternal work and reduces time devoted to home production and leisure, especially among unmarried women. More novel, we show that the EITC also reduces time spent with children; however, almost none of this reduction comes from time devoted to active investment-related activities that are most likely to foster child development.

JEL-codes: D13 H24 H31 H53 I31 I38 J13 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-lma, nep-pbe and nep-pub
Note: CH LS PE
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