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

Slawa Rokicki, Mark E. McGovern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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 physical exercise and 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. This pattern is similar for girls and boys. Parental education appears to be a 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 (US)
Pages (from-to)647-676
Number of pages30
JournalReview of Income and Wealth
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


  • early life conditions
  • inequality
  • skill development
  • socioeconomic status
  • time use


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