Work Hour Differences in Child Care Time: Cross National Variation

Liana C. Sayer, Ohio State University

Parental time investments in children are an important indicator of children’s present and future well-being. Employment depresses mothers’ and fathers’ time caring for children in the United States and other Western industrialized countries. Many researchers have called for reducing the number of hours American parents spend in paid employment, arguing that this would ease the time crunch for working parents (Jacobs and Gerson 2004; Williams 2000). Whether shorter hours in paid work necessarily translate into more time spent in caregiving, however, is an open empirical question, which we examine in this study. Our preliminary results indicate that the association of parents' level of work hours with child care time differs across country.

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Presented in Session 124: Effects of Work Hours on Families and Children