The Availability of Child Care Centers, Perceived Search Costs and Parental Life Satisfaction
AbstractThe supply of formal childcare has expanded in many developed countries. There is ambiguity, however, in the theory that the entry of care providers increases consumers’ surplus and the welfare of households in a market with differentiated services, such as childcare. This study empirically investigates how perceived search costs and parental life satisfaction change when actual childcare availability is altered. It exploits the new panel data from Australia on the number of center-based childcare places per 100 children within a household’s residential area. The results show that an increase in the availability of centerbased childcare is associated with a decrease in perceived difficulty in finding ‘good quality’ childcare, as well as an improvement in mothers’ satisfaction with the increased availability of free time. These findings imply that the local availability of center-based childcare has enhanced the subjective well-being of parents.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 620.
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
child care; entry; search; consumers’ surplus; life satisfaction;
Other versions of this item:
- Chikako Yamauchi, 2010. "The availability of child care centers, perceived search costs and parental life satisfaction," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 231-253, June.
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
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