Tag Archives: economics

Women still pay the parenting penalty

Recent research from Denmark shows that it’s still expensive on a personal level to be a mother, even in a country that is renowned for its egalitarian approach towards parenthood and work

It appears that the gender pay gap has increased over the past 35 years.

Even with “perfectly equal pay for equal work” there would still be large gender inequality in earnings as equal work is not an option for the majority of women, who are faced with the lion’s share of childcare responsibilities.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Sigh.


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The Rug Rat Race

Fabulous title, eh? For your delectation and intellectual stimulation, may I direct you to the working paper of that name by Garey Ramey and Valerie A. Ramey from the National Bureau of Economic Research, published in August 2009. (So it’s September and I’m behind in my reading. I’ve been travelling. That’s my excuse.)

This working paper looks closely at childcare usage and trends, linking twelve time use surveys from 1965 to 2007.

We argue that the increase in time spent in childcare,
particularly among the college educated, may be a response to an increase in the perceived return
to attending a good college, coupled with an increase in competition in college admissions.
Importantly, the size of college-bound cohorts rose dramatically beginning in the early 1990s,
coincident with the increase in time spent on childcare.

Increased scarcity of college slots appears to have induced heightened rivalry among
parents, taking the form of more hours spent on college preparatory activities. In other words,
the rise in childcare time resulted from a “rug rat race” for admission to good colleges.

Crikey! Then there’s page 14 which looks at Trends in Overall Time Use of Mothers.

Anyway, read through it all, including the later pages where the authors rebut the usual explanations given, including income effects and selection effects.

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Posted by on September 23, 2009 in Academia, Article, children, the mummy race


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Here is my new favourite blog, Game Theorist by Joshua Gans. He wrote a book called Parentonomics and my treat for finishing part of my study this week was to go and buy my own copy. Of course, the hard part is to ration it instead of hooning through it.

(I say “favourite” but I should say, that’s apart from the ParentCenter ones which I love and adore – like Andrea Frazer’s, Betsy Shaw’s, and so many more, Emily, Kristina, Patricia. Ladies, you rock.)

I’ll write more about Parentonomics later. Today is a full Saturday and the only thing that is keeping Mimi and me at home instead of springing into action at the mall, playdates, fairs and garage sales is the huge load of washing that is still running in the laundry. Call me paranoid, but I refuse to leave major electrical appliances running on their own while I’m out of the house, specially if there’s water or heat involved. One of my ebil friends suggests that I think of the appliances as children (what!?!?!) in my level of care and not much trust (I’m pouting now).


Posted by on September 13, 2008 in Blogs, Books


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