The impact of household labor-saving technologies along the family life cycle

Raquel Tsukada & Arnaud Dupuy


This paper investigates heterogeneity of the impact of labor-saving technologies on household time use across stages of the family life cycle. Using the Ghana Living Standards Survey 5, we assess the impact of two treatments - piped water and borehole water supply technologies. Results confirm the hypothesis that technology is more useful for relaxing the time constraint in households with children. The effect is stronger the more labor-saving is the technology. In households with young children (0 to 6 years old), however, the technologies show no significant effect. Parents in that stage of the family life cycle are in such an extreme time constraint that the relatively small amount of time saved with the water supply technology is not enough to significantly release their burden.

Keywords: labor-saving technology, household production, family life cycle

JEL Classification: D12, D13