Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 391–414 | Cite as

Paternal child care and children's development

  • Susan L. AverettEmail author
  • Lisa A. Gennetian
  • H. Elizabeth Peters


This paper uses the NLSY-Child data to assess the effects on cognitive and social-emotional development of father care as a child care arrangement among children in two-parent families with working mothers. Our results show that father care for infants is no better or worse than other types of arrangements. However, toddlers in non-paternal modes of child care (e.g., relatives, family day care or center care) have slightly better cognitive outcomes than those whose fathers provided care. Although our analyses do not provide a definitive explanation for this finding, there is a substantial influx of fathers in our data who provide child care in years 2 and 3 and these fathers appear compositionally different from fathers who provided care during a child's infancy. In particular, there is some indication that these fathers who are newly providing care during a child's toddler years may be temporary care providers due to changing economic circumstances.


Care Provider Child Care Center Care Cognitive Outcome Care Arrangement 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan L. Averett
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lisa A. Gennetian
    • 2
  • H. Elizabeth Peters
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Economics and BusinessLafayette CollegeEastonUSA
  2. 2.MDRCNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Policy Analysis and ManagementCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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