Journal Article

Non-Market Household Time and the Cost of Children


  • Koulovatianos
  • C.
  • Schröder
  • C.
  • Schmidt
  • U.
Publication Date

A distinguishing feature among households is whether adult members work or not, since the occupational status of adults affects their available time for home activities. Using a survey method in two countries, Belgium and Germany, we provide household incomes that retain the level of well-being across different family types, distinguished by family size and occupational status of adults. Our tests support that childcare-time costs are important determinants of household well-being. Estimates of child costs relative to an adult are higher for households that are time-constrained (all adults in the household work). Moreover, we find supportive evidence for the hypothesis that, in two-adult households, there is a potential for within-household welfare gains from specialization in market- vs. domestic activities, especially childcare.

Kiel Institute Expert


JEL Classification
C4, D13, D31, I31, J22

Key Words

  • child costs
  • childcare
  • household production
  • Survey Method