Using detailed and comparable time-use data of children in four low- and middle-income countries, this working paper documents the evolution of their time spent on education, paid and unpaid work as they age from 5 to 15 years. Despite gendered diﬀerences in which tasks they undertake, total allocation of time to work (paid, unpaid and household chores) is not significantly diﬀerent between boys and girls, except in India. Rural boys and girls work longer hours and spend less time in education at all ages in all countries, and diﬀerences in time use increase as the children age, driven mainly by those who leave school early.
The authors compare the study cohort with an Older Cohort surveyed in 2009 at age 15 to document trends over time. Time spent on work has decreased quite strikingly in Peru and India, to a lesser extent in Ethiopia, and not at all in Vietnam. This has reduced inequality of time use to the advantage of rural girls in particular. Boys in rural Vietnam and Ethiopia are more likely to stop attending school by age 15, though in India the risk is higher for girls.