The Time Cost of Children: A French-British Comparison

Olivia Ekert-Jaffe, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

France and the United Kingdom represent two contrasting institutional models for the integration of employment and motherhood. Age at first birth, family size and employment are highly polarized by occupation in the UK but not in France. Here, using data from the 1998-99 INSEE and the 2000-2001 British Time-Use surveys, we measure the time cost by increase in total work load (work-for-pay and household-work) of a dual-earner couple in full-time employment. Our estimates take into account sample selection and endogeneity. The results for France (Ekert-Jaffe, 2010) show that the time cost represents 4 hours per day for one child aged under 3, steady across occupations. The higher the workload, the more equally the burden is shared between fathers and mothers. For the United Kingdom, the time cost of children is expected to be higher than in France, polarized by occupation, and equally shared between fathers and mothers.

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Presented in Poster Session 1