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Immigrant gaps in parental time investments into children's human capital activities

Ana M. Ferrer and Allison Mascella

No 48, CLEF Working Paper Series from Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo

Abstract: Current and future well-being and economic prosperity of children depend in large part on the nuances of decisions made by parents with respect to familial resources, an important part of which regard the time spent in the company of children. We estimate differences in the time that immigrant and Canadian-born parents allocate to child-care activities relative to other activities using the time diaries from the General Social Survey. We find that mothers born abroad spend more time at work and less time in leisure but there is no significant difference in time devoted to household production or child service between them and Canadian-born mothers. Despite not finding differences by immigration status in the total care-time parents provide for their children, we do find significant differences - by immigrant status - in time specifically devoted to human capital investment activities with children: African, Asian, European and South-Central American mothers spend up to 30 more minutes daily in these activities than the Canadian born. We further assess the patterns of time use of second-generation young adults and find that they spend more time on education and homework compared to third generation or higher young adults. This supports a plausible effect of the time invested in children's human capital generating activities by immigrant parents on their Canadian-born children.

Date: 2022
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-mig
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