RECONSIDERING THE COST OF CHILDBEARING: THE TIMING OF CHILDREN’S HELPING BEHAVIOR ACROSS THE LIFE CYCLE OF MAYA FAMILIES

Socioeconomic Aspects of Human Behavioral Ecology

ISBN: 978-0-76231-082-1, eISBN: 978-1-84950-255-9

ISSN: 0190-1281

Publication date: 30 December 2004

Abstract

This chapter examines the seeming paradox that although children may be a net cost to parents, they may nonetheless play a key role in underwriting the cost of large families. Maya time allocation and reproductive history data are used to approach children’s economic value from two methodological perspectives: wealth flows and the timing of children’s economic contributions. While Maya children are expensive to raise, when viewed in light of the timing of their labor supply across the demographic life cycle of the family, children’s economic contributions enable Maya parents to continue childbearing and raise more children than they might otherwise be able.

Citation

Kramer, K. (2004), "RECONSIDERING THE COST OF CHILDBEARING: THE TIMING OF CHILDREN’S HELPING BEHAVIOR ACROSS THE LIFE CYCLE OF MAYA FAMILIES", Alvard, M. (Ed.) Socioeconomic Aspects of Human Behavioral Ecology (Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 335-353. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0190-1281(04)23014-1

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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