ABSTRACT Human capital is a key determinant of economic growth. Parents’ involvement during childhood is a predictor of educational attainment later in life. Thus, time devoted by parents to childcare is an important productive activity for society. This paper presents a model in which parental childcare is a key factor in determining children’s cognitive abilities. Parents’ must allocate their time between paid job and childcare. Because of diminishing return, the optimal allocation of parents’ time requires both parents to spend some time in childcare. Since a suboptimal allocation of time has implications both for children's cognitive abilities and for economic growth, our result has important policy implications.
Cite this paper
D. Gioacchino, "Parental Care, Children’s Cognitive Abilities and Economic Growth: The Role of Fathers," Theoretical Economics Letters, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 258-261. doi: 10.4236/tel.2012.23046.
 J. Currie and D. Thomas, “Early Test Scores, Socioeconomic Status, and Future Outcomes,” NBER Working Paper 6943, 1999.
 R. Bernal, “The Effect of Maternal Employment and Childcare on Children’s Cognitive Development,” International Economic Review, Vol. 49, No. 4, 2008, pp. 1173-1209. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2354.2008.00510.x
 C. Rhum, “Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development,” Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 39, No. 10, 2004, pp. 155-192.
 J. Cowley and F. Lieu, “Mechanism for the Association between Maternal Employment and Child Cognitive Development,” NBER Working Paper 13609, 2007.
 S. Bianchi, “Maternal Employment and Time with Children: Dramatic Change or Surprising Continuity?” Demography, Vol. 37, No. 4, 2000, pp. 401-414.
 L. Fox, W. Han, C. Ruhm and J. Waldfogel, “Time for Children: Trends in the Employment Patterns of Parents, 1967-2009,” IZA DP No. 5761, 2011.
 E. Flouri and A. Buchanan, “Early Father’s and Mother’s Involvement and Child’s Later Educational Outcomes,” British Journal of Educational Psychology, Vol. 74, No. 2, 2004, pp. 141-53. doi:10.1348/000709904773839806
 A. Sarkadi, R. Kristiansson, F. Oberklaid and S. Bremberg, “Fathers’ Involvement and Children’s Developmental Outcomes: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies,” Acta Paediatrica, Vol. 97, No. 2, 2007, pp. 153-158. doi:10.1111/j.1651-2227.2007.00572.x
 M. Lamb, “How Do Fathers Influence Children’s Development? Let Me Count the Ways,” In: M. Lamb, Ed., The Father’s Role in Child Development, Wiley &Sons, New York, 2010, pp. 1-26.
 G. Becker, “A Theory of the Allocation of Time,” The Economic Journal, Vol. 75, No. 299, 1965, pp. 493-517.
 G. Becker, “A Treatise on the Family,” Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1991.
 A. Casarico and A. Sommacal, “Labor Income Taxation, Human Capital and Growth: The Role of Childcare,” CESIFO Working Paper No. 2363, 2008.
 S. Klasen, “Low Schooling for Girls, Slower Growth for All? Cross-Country Evidence on Gender Inequality in Education on Economic Development,” The World Bank Economic Review, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2002, pp. 345-373.