Family Investments in Children: What Drives the Social Gap in Parenting?
Study Paper No. 26
Written by: Jens Bonke and Gøsta Esping-Andersen
The paper reports an investigation of whether it is parents’ personal preferences or their child care skills that determine the amount of care that they devote to their children. The results indicate that it is primarily parents’ preferences that are the crucial factor, and this finding contrasts with the results from a number of other studies. Parents’ education rather than their level of earnings thus plays a major role in determining how much time they spend with their children. If both parents have a high level of education, they are more likely to spend time with their children both together rather than separately. In the case of parents with less education, the study shows that if there is a boy among the children, the father is likely to spend more time with the children than if this is not the case. The study is based on the Danish Time Use and Consumption surveys, which include information on the way that both parents in a family spend their time.
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