Heterogeneity in Early Life Investments: A Longitudinal Analysis of Children’s Time Use

Slawa Rokicki, Mark McGovern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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We examine socioeconomic heterogeneity in children’s time use using diary data from two waves of a nationally representative longitudinal cohort study in Ireland. Children from disadvantaged households spend significantly less time reading, doing homework, and engaging in sport than their counterparts, and more time engaging in unstructured play. Though most gaps are relatively small at age 9, they widen considerably by age 13. Patterns are similar for girls and boys. Parental education appears to be a much more important factor in family investment decisions about children’s time use than household income. Given the important role of extra-curricular activities in promoting cognitive and non-cognitive skill development, the systematic differences in children’s time use we document in this paper may contribute to cumulative disadvantage and widening skill gaps through adolescence and into adulthood.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of income and wealth
Early online date22 Aug 2019
Publication statusEarly online date - 22 Aug 2019


  • Time Use
  • Inequality
  • Socioeconomic Status
  • Early Life Conditions
  • Skill Development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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