Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Do higher child care subsidies improve parental well-being? Evidence from Quebec's family policies

Contents:

Author Info

  • Brodeur, Abel
  • Connolly, Marie

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the effect of a change in child care subsidies on parental subjective well-being. Starting in 1997, the Canadian province of Quebec implemented a generous program providing $5-a-day child care to children under the age of 5. By 2007, the percentage of children attending subsidized day care had tripled and mothers’ labor force participation had increased substantially. Objectively, more labor force participation is seen as a positive change, bringing with it higher income, independence and bargaining power. Yet a decrease in women's subjective well-being over previous decades has been documented, perhaps due to a Second Shift effect where women work more but still bear the brunt of housework and childrearing (Hochschild and Machung, 1989). Using data from the Canadian General Social Survey, we estimate a triple-differences model using differences pre- and post-reform between Quebec and the rest of Canada and between parents with young children and those with older children. Our estimates suggest that Quebec's family policies led to a small decrease in parents’ life satisfaction. Of note, though, we find large and positive effects for lower-educated mothers and fathers and negative effects for higher-educated parents. This is consistent with an income effect boosting subjective well-being for lower-educated parents and with negative effects on child outcomes overtaking income effects for more educated households.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268113001674
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

Volume (Year): 93 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 1-16

as in new window
Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:93:y:2013:i:c:p:1-16

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jebo

Related research

Keywords: Child care; Child care subsidies; Labor supply; Subjective well-being; Life satisfaction; Happiness; Work-life balance;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Christopher P. Barrington-Leigh, 2013. "The Quebec Convergence and Canadian Life Satisfaction, 1985-2008," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 39(2), pages 193-219, June.
  2. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Marianne Bertrand, 2013. "Career, Family, and the Well-Being of College-Educated Women," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 244-50, May.
  5. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan & Matthieu Verstraete, 2008. "Dynamic Labour Supply Effects of Childcare Subsidies: Evidence from a Canadian Natural Experiment on Low-Fee Universal Child Care," Cahiers de recherche 0824, CIRPEE.
  6. Booth, A.L. & Ours, J.C. van, 2006. "Hours of Work and Gender Identity: Does Part-time Work make the Family Happier?," Discussion Paper 2006-2, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Beja Jr, Edsel, 2012. "Who is happier: Housewife or working wife?," MPRA Paper 40533, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
  9. Herbst, Chris M. & Tekin, Erdal, 2008. "Child Care Subsidies and Child Development," IZA Discussion Papers 3836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  11. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2008. "Child-Care Policy and the Labor Supply of Mothers with Young Children: A Natural Experiment from Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 519-548, 07.
  12. Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers, 2009. "The paradox of declining female happiness," Working Paper Series 2009-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. Michael J. Kottelenberg & Steven F. Lehrer, 2013. "New Evidence on the Impacts of Access to and Attending Universal Childcare in Canada," NBER Working Papers 18785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
  15. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  16. Chris M. Herbst & Erdal Tekin, 2009. "Child Care Subsidies and Childhood Obesity," NBER Working Papers 15007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. McBride, Michael, 2001. "Relative-income effects on subjective well-being in the cross-section," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 251-278, July.
  18. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
  19. Chris Herbst & Erdal Tekin, 2012. "Child Care Subsidies, Maternal Well-Being, and Child-Parent Interactions: Evidence from Three Nationally Representative Datasets," Working Papers 1372, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
  20. Beja, Jr., Edsel, 2012. "Who is happier: The housewife or working wife?," MPRA Paper 37551, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  21. Paul Beaudry & Thomas Lemieux, 1999. "Evolution of the Female Labour Force Participation Rate in Canada, 1976-1994: a Cohort Analysis," A Symposium on Canadian Labour Force Participation in the 1990s (Special Issue of Canadian Business Economics, Volume 7, Number 2, May 1999), in: Andrew Sharpe & Louis Grignon (ed.), A Symposium on Canadian Labour Force Participation in the 1990s (Special Issue of Canadian Business Economics, Volume 7, Number 2, May 1999), pages 57-70 Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  22. Angus Deaton & Arthur A. Stone, 2013. "Two Happiness Puzzles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 591-97, May.
  23. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2009. "Maternal Labor Supply and the Introduction of Kindergartens into American Public Schools," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
  24. Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani, 2004. "The effect of a large expansion of pre-primary school facilities on preschool attendance and maternal employment," IFS Working Papers W04/30, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  25. Herbst, Chris M., 2011. "‘Paradoxical’ decline? Another look at the relative reduction in female happiness," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 773-788.
  26. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2011. "Money for nothing? Universal child care and maternal employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1455-1465.
  27. A. Sousa-Poza & A. A. Sousa-Poza, 2003. "Gender differences in job satisfaction in Great Britain, 1991-2000: permanent or transitory?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(11), pages 691-694.
  28. Michael Baker & Kevin Milligan, 2013. "Boy-Girl Differences in Parental Time Investments: Evidence from Three Countries," NBER Working Papers 18893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan & Francis Roy-Desrosiers, 2011. "Québec's Childcare Universal Low Fees Policy 10 Years After: Effects, Costs and Benefits," Cahiers de recherche 1101, CIRPEE.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Pia S. Schober & Christian Schmitt, 2013. "Day-Care Expansion and Parental Subjective Well-Being: Evidence from Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 602, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Alexandra Kröll & Rainald Borck, 2013. "The Influence of Child Care on Maternal Health and Mother-Child Interaction," CESifo Working Paper Series 4289, CESifo Group Munich.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:93:y:2013:i:c:p:1-16. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.