Saturday, July 5, 2008

Spending time with the kids

It is hard to know what to make of it, but here is a pointer to new research that shows that the more educated parents are, the more time they spend with their kids (even taking into account the fact that they work more). Of course, one possibility is that more education = greater income = more money for non-kid household chores = more time for kids. The authors seem surprised about that but that seems to me to relate well to common intuition.

When it comes to putting kids to bed, apparently that is time a couple of parents fight about (not doing it that is!). Tim Harford is inspired by research from Susan Athey (and he fails to mention Kyle Bagwell) that showed the cooperation (or in the case of the research, collusion) leads one to simple solutions that may mean it is your turn when you happen to be the more tired in a pair. Of course, there is a sense that the broader household bargain may necessitate specialisation -- one gets the kids for bath and the other for bed (every night). We do this. Each of us is more efficient at the task we specalise in.