Using time-use data from a longitudinal survey (covering Ethiopia, India and Vietnam), the present study examines how the amount of time children spend on different activities impacts their acquisition of cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Modeling the skill formation production function of children and extending the set of inputs to include the child's own time inputs, the study finds that child involvement in work activities such as domestic chores and paid activities are associated with a reduction in both cognitive and non-cognitive achievements. The results imply that there is an indirect adverse effect of child work on skill development through the reduction of hours of study. The results are consistent across all the study countries and for both young children and adolescents. These results are also robust to a variety of specification checks.
Keywords: time-use; skill formation; cognitive and non-cognitive ability
JEL Classification: J13, J22, J24
Paper written using Young Lives data from the UK Public Archive by author from CERGE-EI, a joint workplace of Charles University in Prague and the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.