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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.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.415684.de/diw_sp0536.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 536.

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Length: 45 p.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp536

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

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  5. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2005. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 11832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. James J. Heckman & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children," NBER Working Papers 13016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Libertad González Luna, 2011. "The effects of a universal child benefit," Economics Working Papers 1281, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. Pedro Carneiro & Katrine V. Loken & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2010. "A flying start? Long term consequences of maternal time investments in children during their first year of life," CeMMAP working papers CWP38/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  13. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Marianne Simonsen, 2007. "Non-cognitive Child Outcomes and Universal High Quality Child Care," Economics Working Papers 2007-17, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  14. Edward Vytlacil, 2002. "Independence, Monotonicity, and Latent Index Models: An Equivalence Result," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 331-341, January.
  15. 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.
  16. James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2000. "Local Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0252, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler, 2006. "The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance," IFS Working Papers W06/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Hener, Timo & Rainer, Helmut, 2013. "Does the Expansion of Public Child Care Increase Birth Rates? Evidence from a Low-Fertility Country," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79909, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  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. 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.

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