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Can we trust parental reports of child care subsidy receipt?

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  • Johnson, Anna D.
  • Herbst, Chris M.
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    Abstract

    In recent years, research examining determinants and consequences of the means-tested child care subsidy program (the Child Care and Development Fund [CCDF]) has grown dramatically. To measure subsidy utilization, existing studies typically rely on parent-reported measures of subsidy receipt drawn from large surveys. As the research literature on child care subsidies has grown, however, so have concerns about the trustworthiness of parent-reported subsidy use. One way to assess the quality of parent-reported subsidy use is to examine its overlap with another subsidy receipt measure, drawn from a different source. The current paper uses the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Study (FFCWS), the only existing survey data source that contains an alternate measure of subsidy receipt — based on child care provider report — which permits a comparison to parent-reported measures. We find evidence that increases our confidence in the trustworthiness of parents as accurate reporters of subsidy receipt. In recognition that neither data source reflects “true” subsidy receipt, however, we conclude with a discussion of limitations and steps for future research.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740913000960
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Children and Youth Services Review.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 6 ()
    Pages: 984-993

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:35:y:2013:i:6:p:984-993

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/childyouth

    Related research

    Keywords: Child care subsidies; Child care; Survey data; Parent-report;

    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Herbst, Chris M. & Tekin, Erdal, 2009. "Child Care Subsidies and Childhood Obesity," IZA Discussion Papers 4255, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Jacob Alex Klerman & Jeanne S. Ringel & Beth Roth, 2005. "Under-Reporting of Medicaid and Welfare in the Current Population Survey," Working Papers 169-3, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
    3. Chris M. Herbst & Erdal Tekin, 2008. "Child Care Subsidies and Child Development," NBER Working Papers 14474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Shlay, Anne B. & Weinraub, Marsha & Harmon, Michelle, 2010. "Child care subsidies post TANF: Child care subsidy use by African American, White and Hispanic TANF-leavers," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 1711-1718, December.
    5. Chris M. Herbst & Erdal Tekin, 2010. "The Impact of Child Care Subsidies on Child Well-Being: Evidence from Geographic Variation in the Distance to Social Service Agencies," NBER Working Papers 16250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Johnson, Anna D. & Martin, Anne & Brooks-Gunn, Jeanne, 2011. "Who uses child care subsidies? Comparing recipients to eligible non-recipients on family background characteristics and child care preferences," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1072-1083, July.
    7. Herbst, Chris M., 2008. "Who are the eligible non-recipients of child care subsidies?," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1037-1054, September.
    8. Erdal Tekin, 2004. "Child Care Subsidy Receipt, Employment, and Child Care Choices of Single Mothers," NBER Working Papers 10459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Herbst, Chris M. & Tekin, Erdal, 2012. "The geographic accessibility of child care subsidies and evidence on the impact of subsidy receipt on childhood obesity," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 37-52.
    10. Bruce Meyer & Robert Goerge, 2011. "Errors in Survey Reporting and Imputation and Their Effects on Estimates of Food Stamp Program Participation," Working Papers 11-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    11. Reichman, Nancy E. & Teitler, Julien O. & Garfinkel, Irwin & McLanahan, Sara S., 2001. "Fragile Families: sample and design," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 303-326.
    12. Nicole Forry, 2009. "The Impact of Child Care Subsidies on Low-Income Single Parents: An Examination of Child Care Expenditures and Family Finances," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 43-54, March.
    13. David Blau & Erdal Tekin, 2007. "The determinants and consequences of child care subsidies for single mothers in the USA," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 719-741, October.
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