Sons, Daughters, and the Behavior of American Men

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 25.03.2003, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Shelly Lundberg (University of California, Santa Barbara)


Economic research on the labor supply of women has always devoted considerable attention to the interactions between women's roles in the family and in the workforce. Recent research indicates that the time allocation of American men is much more responsive to the presence of children than had been believed, and that this response depends, in some dimensions, on the gender of the children. Child gender also seems to have significant effects on fathers' involvement with families and on family formation. I plan to summarize a set of empirical results concerning the effects of sons and daughters on the behavior of both married and unmarried fathers, and to discuss their implications for economic models of family decision-making and family structure. The results are consistent with a model in which sons have a greater positive effect on marital/relationship surplus than do daughters, and differential impacts on parental labor supply and consumption decisions.

"Child Gender and the Transition to Marriage" (joint with Elaina Rose), forthcoming in Demography.

"Investments in Sons and Daughters: Evidence from the Consumer Expenditure Survey" (joint with Elaina Rose), February 2003.

"Child Gender and Father Involvement in Fragile Families," (joint with Sara McLanahan and Elaina Rose), draft available on-line soon.

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