Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 53–67 | Cite as

Maternal employment and time investments in children

  • Frank Heiland
  • Joseph Price
  • Riley Wilson


We use data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the American Time Use Survey to estimate the effect of maternal employment on time spent with children. We find that each additional 10 h of maternal work reduces mother–child quality time interaction by about 7.5 % and time reading together by 8 %. This relationship between work and quality time does not vary much based on mothers’ education and is robust to the inclusion of family or child fixed effects. There is no evidence that fathers or other relatives fill the gap in time investments due to maternal employment.


Maternal employment Mother–child interaction Time use 

JEL Classification

J22 J13 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Affairs, CUNY Graduate Center (Economics Program), Baruch CollegeCUNY Institute for Demographic ResearchNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Maryland-College ParkCollege ParkUSA

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