The Great Recession and Married Parents’ Use of Time

Publication Date:
Jan 2013
Project Programs:
The Social and Economic Effects of the Great Recession

This paper describes the time spent by married fathers and mothers in home production and child-care over the period 2003-2011 in the American Time Use Survey (n = 37,228). The recession increased the likelihood that fathers participated in both home production and childcare. However, it decreased the amount of fathers’ time in home production among participants. This had the overall effect of lowering the amount of fathers’ time in home production in the recession by about 35 minutes per week. Fathers who participated in child-care spent the same amount of time doing so before and during the recession. Thus the recession had the overall effect of increasing the amount of time fathers spend in child-care by about 30 minutes per week. The recession did not change the likelihood that mothers participated in home production or child-care, but it decreased the number of minutes spent in home production among mothers who participated at all. The results are not sensitive to the inclusion of family socioeconomic characteristics but they do vary by parents’ education level.


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