The Time-Cost of Children In France: Time Budget Constraints and Women’s Economic Activity

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

Using the 1998 time-use survey for France, this paper aims to estimate a time cost for children. It first discusses the difficulties of such a measure – similar to those raised widely in the literature about the difficulty in identifying objective equivalence scales – in evaluating the monetary cost of children. The measure is subjective and depends upon a criterion of family welfare when the number of children changes. As such a criterion, I propose to evaluate the relative time cost of children by measuring the personal time (physiological plus leisure) of parents who are both employed full time, and I discuss its advantages and drawbacks. The estimations take account of income endogeneity and sample selection by modelling simultaneously labor force participation, labor incomes and time budgets. We test various interactions: does the time cost vary with couple characteristics ? We also examine how this cost is shared between fathers and mothers.

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Presented in Poster Session 6