Raised that way

Kevin Lewis

March 10, 2019

The Brother Earnings Penalty
Angela Cools & Eleonora Patacchini
Labour Economics, forthcoming


This paper examines the impact of sibling gender on adolescent experiences and adult labor market outcomes for a recent cohort of U.S. women. We document an earnings penalty from the presence of a younger brother (relative to a younger sister), finding that a next-youngest brother reduces adult earnings by about 7 percent. Using rich data on parent-child interactions, parents’ expectations, disruptive behaviors, and adult outcomes, we provide a first step at examining the mechanisms behind this result. We find that brothers reduce parents’ expectations and school monitoring of female children while also increasing females’ propensity to engage in more traditionally feminine tasks. These factors help explain a portion of the labor market penalty from brothers.

Parenthood Is Associated With Greater Well-Being for Fathers Than Mothers
Katherine Nelson-Coffey et al.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming


The experiences of mothers and fathers are different in ways that could affect their well-being. Yet few studies have comprehensively examined gender differences in parents’ well-being. In the current research, we investigated such gender differences in a large representative sample (Study 1a; N = 13,007), in a community sample using validated well-being measures (Study 1b; N = 472), and in a large experience sampling study measuring happiness during caregiving activities and during interactions with children (Study 2; N = 4,930). Fathers reported greater happiness, subjective well-being, psychological need satisfaction, and daily uplifts than did men without children (Studies 1a and 1b). During caregiving experiences, fathers reported greater happiness, whereas mothers reported lower happiness, compared with their other activities. Fathers also reported relatively higher happiness when interacting with their children than did mothers (Study 2). Across all three studies and more than 18,000 participants, parenthood was associated with more positive well-being outcomes for fathers than for mothers.

Assessment of Screen Exposure in Young Children, 1997 to 2014
Weiwei Chen & Jessica Adler
JAMA Pediatrics, forthcoming

"We estimated young children’s screen time using time diary data from the 1997 and 2014 Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which collects information of a population-based representative sample of American children. There were 1327 and 443 children younger than 6 years who completed the time dairy in 1997 and 2014, respectively...In 1997, daily screen time averaged 1.32 hours for children aged 0 to 2 years and 2.47 hours for children aged 3 to 5 years. In comparison with other devices, screen time allocated to television was highest; children aged 0 to 2 years and children aged 3 to 5 years watched television for 0.56 and 1.19 hours (43% and 48% of total screen time) per day, respectively. By 2014, total screen time among children aged 0 to 2 years had risen to 3.05 hours per day. Most of that time (2.62 hours) was spent on television, while 0.37 hours were spent on mobile devices. The older cohort experienced no significant change in total screen time but an increase of about 80% in television time. On average, children aged 3 to 5 years spent 2.14 hours on television and 0.42 hours on mobile devices."

Household Labor Supply, Child Development and Childcare Policies in the United States
Ewout Verriest
NYU Working Paper, December 2018


This paper studies the dynamic relationship between parental labor supply, children's cognitive development and intra-household bargaining power. To do so, I construct a model that incorporates preference heterogeneity across and within households, a constrained cooperative bargaining framework with explicit outside options, a dynamic technology of the child's cognitive development, and endogenous parental human capital and wages. Using detailed U.S. panel data on married households, I identify and estimate the model with the Method of Simulated Moments, and show that it replicates observable trends and heterogeneity in parental time use, the use of formal childcare arrangements and child test scores. I use the model to simulate the effects of cash transfers and formal childcare subsidies. First, I find that the cost-effectiveness of the recently expanded Child Tax Credit, in terms of fostering child cognition and reducing intra-household inequality, could be improved by giving cash to mothers directly, and by making the credit increase with the child's age. Second, I consider expansions of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit which offer larger formal childcare subsidies and relax the employment requirements. I estimate that a 25 percent subsidy could boost young children's skills by over 0.1 standard deviations, increase maternal labor supply even when there is no work requirement, and be financed at no additional cost through a 50 percent reduction in the Child Tax Credit for households with young children.

Reserving Time for Daddy: The Consequences of Fathers’ Quotas
Ankita Patnaik
Journal of Labor Economics, forthcoming


'Daddy quotas' that reserve some parental leave for fathers are increasingly common in developed nations, but it is unclear whether fathers respond to the binding constraints or the labeling effects they produce. Further, little is known about their long-term effects on household behavior. I examine the Quebec Parental Insurance Program, which improved compensation and reserved 5 weeks of leave for fathers. I find that fathers' participation increased by 250%, driven by a combination of higher benefits and the framing effect of labeling some weeks as 'daddy'-only. I also present causal evidence that paternity leave reduces sex specialization long after the leave period.

Promoting Compliance in Children Referred to Child Protective Services: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Teresa Lind et al.
Child Development, forthcoming


Early experiences of maltreatment have long‐term negative effects on children's compliance. This randomized clinical trial examined whether a brief preventative intervention (Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch‐up; ABC) was effective in enhancing compliance in children who had been referred to Child Protective Services. Participants included 101 parent–child dyads who received either ABC or a control intervention when children were infants (M = 9.4 months old, SD = 6.1). When children were approximately 36 months old (M = 38.5, SD = 3.0), ABC children demonstrated significantly better compliance than control children. Further, parent sensitivity, measured 1 month post intervention when children were, on average, 18.4 months old (SD = 6.9) partially mediated the effect of ABC on child compliance at 36 months old.

Did I Inherit My Moral Compass? Examining Socialization and Evocative Mechanisms for Virtuous Character Development
Amanda Ramos et al.
Behavior Genetics, forthcoming


Virtuous character development in children is correlated with parenting behavior, but the role of genetic influences in this association has not been examined. Using a longitudinal twin/sibling study (N = 720; Time 1 (T1) Mage = 12–14 years, Time 3 (T3) Mage = 25–27 years), the current report examines associations among parental negativity/positivity and offspring responsibility during adolescence, and subsequent young adult conscientiousness. Findings indicate that associations among parental negativity and offspring virtuous character during adolescence and young adulthood are due primarily to heritable influences. In contrast, the association between concurrent parental positivity and adolescent responsibility was due primarily to heritable and shared environmental influences. These findings underscore the contributions of heritable influences to the associations between parenting and virtuous character that have previously been assumed to be only environmentally influenced, emphasizing the complexity of mechanisms involved in the development of virtuous character.

Single Motherhood and the Abolition of Coverture in the United States
Hazem Alshaikhmubarak, Richard Geddes & Shoshana Grossbard
Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, March 2019, Pages 94-118


Under the common‐law system of coverture in the United States, a married woman relinquished control of property and wages to her husband. Many U.S. states passed acts between 1850 and 1920 that expanded a married woman's right to keep her market earnings and to own separate property. The former were called married women's earnings acts (MWEAs) and the latter married women's property acts (MWPAs). Scholarly interest in the acts’ effects is growing, with researchers examining how the acts affected outcomes such as women's wealth holding and educational attainment. The acts’ impact on women's nonmarital birth decisions remains unexamined, however. We postulate that the acts caused women to anticipate greater benefits from having children within rather than outside of marriage. We thus expect the passage of MWPAs and MWEAs to reduce the likelihood that single women become mothers of young children. We use probit regression to analyze individual data from the U.S. Census for the years 1860 to 1920. We find that the property acts in fact reduced the likelihood that single women have young children. We also find that the “de‐coverture” acts’ effects were stronger for literate women, for U.S.‐born women, in states with higher female labor‐force participation, and in more rural states, consistent with predictions.

The Causal Relationship between Childhood Adversity and Developmental Trajectories of Delinquency: A Consideration of Genetic and Environmental Confounds
Eric Connolly & Nicholas Kavish
Journal of Youth and Adolescence, February 2019, Pages 199–211


An extensive line of research has found that children exposed to multiple forms of early life adversity are more likely to engage in high levels of delinquent behavior during adolescence. Several studies examining this association have used a range of multivariate statistical techniques capable of controlling for observable covariates. Fewer studies have used family-based research designs to additionally control for unobservable confounds, such as genetic and shared environmental influences, that may be associated with exposure to childhood adversity and delinquency. The current study analyzes self-report data on 2534 full-siblings (50% female) from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to conduct a sibling-comparison analysis to provide a rigorous test of the causal hypothesis that exposure to childhood adversity causes differences in developmental patterns of delinquent behavior. Results from multivariate latent growth curve models revealed that childhood adversity was associated with higher starting levels of delinquency during adolescence and slower rates of decline from adolescence to emerging adulthood. Results from multivariate sibling-comparison models, however, revealed that siblings exposed to higher levels of childhood adversity reported higher starting levels of delinquent behavior, but not slower declines over time, suggesting that childhood adversity may not be directly associated with long-term patterns of delinquent behavior after genetic and shared environmental factors are taken into account. Implications of these results for future research are discussed.

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