Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2013:10: Time Investment by Parents in Cognitive and Non-cognitive Childcare Activities

Mohammad Sepahvand (), Roujman Shahbazian () and Ranjula Bali Swain ()
Additional contact information
Mohammad Sepahvand: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Roujman Shahbazian: Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI),, Postal: Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Ranjula Bali Swain: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: We investigate the time investment in cognitive and non-cognitive childcare activities by parents with different educational attainment. In a second step we also investigate this effect for three different child age cohorts. Past research shows that the degree of success in the labour market is highly connected to the individual’s cognitive and non-cognitive skills. We compare evidence based on Multinational Time Use Study (MTUS) for five countries: France, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom and United States of America in order to identify any systematic pattern. The results indicate that the educational gradients for cognitive and non-cognitive childcare activities are overall positive with respect to the level of education. Furthermore, the results seem to be consistent with the technology of skill formation. They indicate a concave function between time investment and the age of the child for cognitive childcare activities and a decreasing function for non-cognitive childcare activities.

Keywords: Time allocation; cognitive skills; non-cognitive skills; intergenerational transmissions; human capital; technology of skill formation

JEL-codes: I21; J13

31 pages, May 7, 2013

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