July 2013

IZA DP No. 7531: If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands: How Do Mothers and Fathers Really Feel about Child Caregiving?

published in: Feminist Economics, 2015, 21 (1), 1-34

This paper considers the question posed by popular media, do women like doing child care more than men? Using experienced emotions data paired with 24 hour time diaries from the 2010 American Time Use Survey, the paper explores gender differences in how men and women who have done some child caregiving on the previous day feel when engaged in a set of common daily activities. We find that both men and women enjoy their time in child caregiving, men as much, or even more so, than women as evidenced by their average values for happiness, tiredness, and stress, their predicted values for the same three emotions and via an aggregated statistic, the unpleasantness index. Counter-factual unpleasantness indices provide evidence that difference between men and women come almost completely from differences in their experience emotions rather than from differences in how they use their time.