Human capital investments in children -- A comparative analysis of the role of parent-child shared time in selected countries

Österbacka, Eva; Merz, Joachim; Zick, Cathleen D.
November 2012
Electronic International Journal of Time Use Research;Nov2012, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p120
Academic Journal
In this paper, we test the hypothesis of parent-child time as a form of human capital investment in children using a propensity score treatment effects approach that accounts for the possible endogenous nature of time use and human capital investment. We broaden the human capital investment notion and focus on shared time in eating, housework, leisure, and TV/video time. Furthermore, we investigate the extent to which the levels and composition of parent-child time varies across three countries: Finland, Germany, and the United States (as social democratic, conservative and liberal welfare regime). Our results reveal some cross-national differences in human capital investment and they provide mixed support for the hypothesis that non-care related parent-child time is human capital enriching. But our results also provide similarities across countries, indicating that family core functions may be common irrespective of welfare regimes.


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