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Early Child Care and Child Development: For Whom it Works and Why

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  • Christina Felfe
  • Rafael Lalive

Abstract

Many countries are currently expanding access to child care for young children. But are all children equally likely to benefit from such expansions? We address this question by adopting a marginal treatment effects framework. We study the West German setting where high quality center-based care is severely rationed and use within state differences in child care supply as exogenous variation in child care attendance. Data from the German Socio-Economic Panel provides comprehensive information on child development measures along with detailed information on child care, mother-child interactions, and maternal labor supply. Results indicate strong differences in the effects of child care with respect to observed characteristics (children’s age, birth weight and socio-economic background), but less so with respect to unobserved determinants of selection into child care. Underlying mechanisms are a substitution of maternal care with center-based care, an increase in average quality of maternal care, and an increase in maternal earnings.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-12/cesifo1_wp4043.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 4043.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4043

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Keywords: child care; child development; marginal treatment effects;

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References

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  1. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2009. "No Child Left Behind: Universal Child Care and Children’s Long-Run Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 4561, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler, 2006. "The Effect of Pre-Primary Education on Primary School Performance," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp838, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. Christina Felfe & Natalia Nollenberger & Núria Rodríguez-Planas, 2013. "Can't Buy Mommy's Love? Universal Childcare and Children's Long-Term Cognitive Development," CESifo Working Paper Series 4069, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Katrine V. Løken & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2012. "Care or Cash? The Effect of Child Care Subsidies on Student Performance," NBER Working Papers 18086, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Heckman, James J. & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children," IZA Discussion Papers 2725, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Blau, Francine D & Grossberg, Adam J, 1992. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 474-81, August.
  7. Carneiro, Pedro & Løken, Katrine Vellesen & Salvanes, Kjell Gunnar, 2010. "A Flying Start? Long Term Consequences of Maternal Time Investments in Children During Their First Year of Life," Working Papers in Economics 06/10, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  8. Katherine A. Magnuson & Christopher J. Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance?," NBER Working Papers 10452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Simonsen, Marianne, 2007. "Non-Cognitive Child Outcomes and Universal High Quality Child Care," IZA Discussion Papers 3188, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2009. "Do Investments in Universal Early Education Pay Off? Long-term Effects of Introducing Kindergartens into Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 14951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Libertad González Luna, 2011. "The effects of a universal child benefit," Economics Working Papers 1281, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  12. Charles L. Baum II, 2003. "Does Early Maternal Employment Harm Child Development? An Analysis of the Potential Benefits of Leave Taking," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 381-408, April.
  13. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2011. "Estimating Marginal Returns to Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2754-81, October.
  14. James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2000. "Local Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  16. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  17. Fitzpatrick Maria D, 2008. "Starting School at Four: The Effect of Universal Pre-Kindergarten on Children's Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-40, November.
  18. Edward Vytlacil, 2002. "Independence, Monotonicity, and Latent Index Models: An Equivalence Result," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 331-341, January.
  19. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
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Cited by:
  1. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Hener, Timo & Rainer, Helmut, 2013. "Does the Expansion of Public Child Care Increase Birth Rates? Evidence from a Low-Fertility Country," Munich Reprints in Economics 20154, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Stefan Bauernschuster & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2013. "Does Expanding Public Child Care Encourage Fertility? County-Level Evidence from Germany," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 158, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  3. Alexandra Kröll & Rainald Borck, 2013. "The Influence of Child Care on Maternal Health and Mother-Child Interaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 615, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Stefan Bauernschuster & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2014. "Children of a (Policy) Revolution: The Introduction of Universal Child Care and its Effect on Fertility," CESifo Working Paper Series 4776, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Ylenia Brilli & Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Monfardini, 2013. "Child Care Arrangements: Determinants and Consequences," CHILD Working Papers Series 18, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.

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