Household structure and economic outcomes: time use, employment, and educational attainment
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Three topics related to the role of family in economic outcomes are examined. In Chapter 1, a twins instrument is used to measure the effect of an additional infant on womens housework and market work hours and the on time use of others in the family. Having an additional child increases womens weekly housework by 3.5 hours and reduces womens weekly leisure hours by 1.2 hours. Spouses have an increase in housework of 1.1 hours but no reduction in leisure. Chapter 2 develops a simple model to explain how one way in which self-employment might be advantageous to immigrants. Immigrants with poor English language skills cannot realize their full productive ability when dealing with English speakers. However, forming a partnership with someone else who speaks both languages could allow specialization of jobs that would give both a higher wage. The presence of both good and poor English skills in the household presents the opportunity for mutually beneficial cooperation. The range of English skills of workers in the household is positively associated with higher self-employment probabilities for men, particularly for households with more earners. Individuals have a higher probability of being self-employed if they have someone with different language skills in the household. Chapter 3 examines the effect of additional siblings on childrens education using twins instruments. Additional siblings have a significant negative impact on the education of younger children. Afterwards, children catch up. Closely spaced siblings have a larger negative effect. There is evidence that a girls education is hurt more than that of a boy by an additional sibling in a family with at least three children.