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Working Paper Number SEHSD-2015-16
Lynda Laughlin, Kristin Smith
Component ID: #ti836671627


The economic decline and consequent changes in parental employment associated with the Great Recession have forced families to re-examine the role and expectations of fathers. This paper looks at the impact of the economic shock of job loss among fathers on the provision of father- provided child care among married couples with an employed wife. Using longitudinal survey data from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), we examine how changes in employment facilitate or impede child care provided by fathers. Findings suggest that fathers’ child care provision is highly dependent on the fathers’ employment situation and the available time they have for child care. Specifically, fathers who transition out of employment between 2010 and 2011 are more likely to provide child care during their wives’ work hours than fathers who remain employed in 2011. Results shed light on the myriad of economic and social factors that influence the use of father-provided child care during times of economic uncertainty.

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