NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Boy-Girl Differences in Parental Time Investments: Evidence from Three Countries

Michael Baker, Kevin Milligan

NBER Working Paper No. 18893
Issued in March 2013
NBER Program(s):   CH

We study differences in the time parents spend with girls and boys at preschool ages in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. We refine previous evidence that fathers commit more time to boys, showing this greater commitment emerges with age and is not present for very young children. We next examine differences in specific parental teaching activities such as reading and the use of number and letters. We find the parents commit more of this time to girls, starting at ages as young as 9 months. We explore possible explanations of this greater commitment to girls including explicit parental preference and boy-girl differences in costs of these time inputs. Finally, we offer evidence that these differences in time inputs are potentially important: in each country the boy-girl difference in inputs can account for a non-trivial proportion of the boy-girl difference in preschool reading and math scores.

download in pdf format
   (234 K)

email paper

This paper was revised on September 25, 2013

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18893

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Fortin, Oreopoulos, and Phipps w19331 Leaving Boys Behind: Gender Disparities in High Academic Achievement
Baker and Milligan w17105 Maternity Leave and Children's Cognitive and Behavioral Development
Milligan and Wise w18229 Health and Work at Older Ages: Using Mortality to Assess the Capacity to Work across Countries
Gelber and Isen w17704 Children's Schooling and Parents' Investment in Children: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study
Stevenson and Wolfers w14969 The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us