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FAMILIES, TIME AND MONEY IN CANADA, GERMANY, SWEDEN, THE UNITED KINGDOM AND THE UNITED STATES

Authors


  • Note: We gratefully acknowledge the excellent research assistance of Lynn Lethbridge and Catherine Maclean as well as funding from the Canadian Population Health Initiative and Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Earlier versions of this paper have been presented at the Canadian Economics Association meeting in Toronto (June 2004), the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth meeting in Cork, Ireland (August 2004) and departmental seminars at Dalhousie University and the University of British Columbia. We thank our colleagues for most helpful comments at these times; we also thank two anonymous reviewers for most useful contributions.

*Shelley Phipps, Department of Economics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3J5, Canada (Shelley.Phipps@dal.ca).

Abstract

Using microdata from the Luxembourg Income Study, we assess “time crunch” for families with children in Canada, Germany, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. Both theory and empirical evidence suggest that both time and money are important inputs to the well-being of parents and children. We present cross-country comparisons of “total available adult hours” under different assumptions about the varying time needs of families of different size. We also present estimates of “time shortages.” In all cases, we provide separate estimates for families located at different points in the country income distributions, since being short of both time and money is likely to be particularly problematic. Although paid work hours are highest for high-income families, we nonetheless find significant numbers of lower-income families in which parents work very long hours in the paid labor market; this is particularly the case in the U.S.

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