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Peter Burton and Shelley Phipps Department of Economics Dalhousie University.

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Presentation on theme: "Peter Burton and Shelley Phipps Department of Economics Dalhousie University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peter Burton and Shelley Phipps Department of Economics Dalhousie University

2 Time crunch of general public interest and studied by scholars outside economics (e.g., Duxbury and Higgins, 2009) Economic theories of family (e.g., Becker, 1991) argue that both time and money are resources that can increase well-being More attention to money as proxy for well- being (e.g., GDP, poverty and income inequality)

3 Has also focused on association between income and well-being (e.g., Easterlin, 2001; Barrington-Leigh and Helliwell, 2009) Less attention to time though another major theme is that social interactions are key to well-being (e.g., Helliwell and Putnam, 2004)

4 Document changes in participation in paid work for Canadian families with children ( ) Over-all, across the income distribution Look at time/money resource packages available Study associations between parental time and parental well-being, given income Look at mothers and fathers separately Has inequality of well-being increased more than inequality of income?


6 To span longest period of time, use 2 sources Survey of Consumer Finance, or SCF (1971, 1975, 1987 and 1991, as available from Luxembourg Income Study) Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, or SLID for recent years (accessed through the ARDC) SLID replaced SCF, similar sampling frames, but different surveys

7 For each year, use full sample population to calculate decile cut points Comparing Canadian families with children to general population (less likely to be at very bottom or very top)

8 Households with children under 18 Only 2 adults (elderly parents may be source of help or additional care-giving responsibility) Drop households in which either parent experienced unemployment (to avoid saying they are rich in time)


10 Consider total family paid hours (mother + father) Usual hours per week (most relevant for experience of time crunch)


12 Illustrate for 1971 and for 2006 Curves show average combinations of paid work time and family income for each decile in given year


14 Curves trace paid-hour/disposable income combinations across time for selected deciles






20 Data = Canadian time-use data from 1992 and 2005 (Statistics Canada General Social Survey)

21 Constructed from yes / no answers to ten questions, such as: When you need more time, do you tend to cut back on your sleep? Do you feel that youre constantly under stress trying to accomplish more than you can handle? Do you feel that you just dont have time for fun anymore? Index ranges from 0 to 10 (maximum time stress).

22 Quintile 1 Quintile 2 Quintile 3 Quintile 4 Quintile 5 Parents Mothers Fathers Table 1. Time Crunch by Quintile

23 Estimate ordered probit models for parental well-being Key explanatory variables = family income and dummies for total paid work time (given spikes in hours data) Other controls reflect major changes over last decades

24 ParentsMothersFathers Mother0.189*** (0.032) Family income (log) * (0.034) (0.050) (0.048) Total paid hours less than * (0.077) ** (0.102) (0.115) Total paid hours 35 to *** (0.039) *** (0.056) (0.056) Total paid hours greater than *** (0.043) 0.286*** (0.058) 0.201*** (0.064) ** (0.032) 0.085* (0.044) (0.046) Table 1. Ordered probit models for time crunch Additional controls: age, education, family size, presence of pre-school aged child, immigrant status, region, urban/rural status.

25 Satisfaction with life as a whole right now, from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 10 (very satisfied) Only available for 2005

26 ParentsMothers Mother0.035 (0.048) Family income (log)0.172*** (0.058) 0.299*** (0.071) Paid hours less than (0.124) (0.149) Paid hours 35 to (0.059) (0.084) Paid hours more than * (0.061) * (0.083) Table 2. Ordered probit models for parental life satisfaction.

27 Ordered probit coefficients indicate that, all else equal, an increase from 2 full-time jobs to 2 high-hours jobs would require a family income 2/3 higher to off-set negative implications for mother life satisfaction

28 Between 1994 and 2006, families in 4 th decile working 80+ hours increased from 13 to 21%, average real income growth was only 18% Over same period, no change in number of 9 th or 10 th decile families working 80+ hours, yet real incomes increased by 28% and 40%, respectively

29 Total paid hours supplied by parents have increased across the income distribution Largest increases in paid hours for modest income families; no matching increases in real income Relative growth in time stress for lower- income parents Inequality of well-being may have increased even more than inequality of income? Mothers particularly affected

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