As the dual-earner family becomes more prevalent across Europe, some parents are turning to the grandparents and other relatives for their childcare needs. This project undertakes a cross-national comparison of the time that co-residential grandparents and other relatives report spending on childcare in relation to parents. The data are drawn primarily from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP) covering the period 1994-2001. The ECHP contains information on how much time every adult respondent reports spending looking after children on a weekly basis. Until now, this variable has only been used to consider the time that parents spend looking after children. However, it is also possible to consider the childcare time spent by other members of the family, such as older siblings and grandparents.
Exploiting this data, an exploration is conducted of whether or not socio-economic factors, including parental household employment patterns and, where relevant, parental occupation, are correlated with co-residential intergenerational childcare time consistently across countries, with differentials being attributed to compositional effects.
This work posed the question :Do co-residential fathers who spend more time looking after their children work fewer hours and earn less than other fathers and non-fathers? The results suggest that to the contrary, fathers who spend more time with their children earn more per hour and work fewer hours per week, on average, than those who spend less time with their children. In other words, employed fathers who spend the most time with their children also experience the most favourable labour market outcomes. Furthermore, prior labour market outcomes are positively correlated with a man becoming a father.