Intra-household work timing: The effect on joint activities and the demand for child care

Chris Van Klaveren*, Henriette Maassen Van Den Brink, Bernard Van Praag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study examines whether couples time their work hours and how this work timing influences child care demand and the time that spouses jointly spend on leisure, household chores, and child care. By using an innovative matching strategy, this study identifies the timing of work hours that cannot be explained by factors other than the partners' potential to communicate about the timing of their work. The main findings are that couples with children create less overlap in their work times and this effect is more pronounced the younger the children. We find evidence for a togetherness preference of spouses, but only for childless couples. Work timing also influences the joint time that is spent on household chores, but the effect is small. Finally, work timing behaviour affects the demand for informal child care, but not the demand for formal child care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


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