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Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being

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  • Michael Baker

    ()

  • Jonathan Gruber

    ()

  • Kevin Milligan

    ()

Abstract

The growing labour force participation of women with small children in both the U.S. and Canada has led to calls for increased public financing for childcare. The optimality of public financing depends on a host of factors, such as the “crowd-out” of existing childcare arrangements, the impact on female labor supply, and the effects on child well-being. The introduction of universal, highlysubsidized childcare in Quebec in the late 1990s provides an opportunity to address these issues. This paper carefully analyzes the impacts of Quebec’s “$5 per day childcare” programme on childcare utilization,labor supply, and child (and parent) outcomes in two parent families. The authors find strong evidence of a shift into new childcare use, although approximately one third of the newly reported use appears to come from women who previously worked and had informal arrangements. The labour supply impact is highly significant, and the measured elasticity of 0.236 is slightly smaller than previous credible estimates. Finally, the authors uncover striking evidence that children are worse off in a variety of behavioral and health dimensions, ranging from aggression to motor-social skills to illness. This analysis also suggests that the new childcare programme led to more hostile, less consistent parenting, worse parental health, and lower-quality parental relationships.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:547.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:547

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Related research

Keywords: maternal care; child care; lower-quality parental relationship; Quebec's $5per day childcare; childcareuse; Canada;

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References

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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2005. "Low-fee ($5/day/child) Regulated Childcare Policy and the Labor Supply of Mothers with Young Children: a Natural Experiment from Canada," Cahiers de recherche 0508, CIRPEE.
  3. James J. Heckman, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 136-169 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Berger, Mark C & Black, Dan A, 1992. "Child Care Subsidies, Quality of Care, and the Labor Supply of Low-Income, Single Mothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 635-42, November.
  5. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  6. Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins, 2000. "Employment and child-care choices in Canada and the United States," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 435-470, May.
  7. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  8. David M. Blau & Alison P. Hagy, 1998. "The Demand for Quality in Child Care," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 104-146, February.
  9. Gordon Cleveland & Morley Gunderson & Douglas Hyatt, 1996. "Child Care Costs and the Employment Decision of Women: Canadian Evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(1), pages 132-51, February.
  10. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
  11. Rachel Connelly & Jean Kimmel, 2003. "Marital status and full-time/part-time work status in child care choices," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(7), pages 761-777.
  12. Pierre Merrigan & Philip Lefebvre, 2002. "The Effect of Childcare and Early Education Arrangements on Developmental Outcomes of Young Children," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(2), pages 159-185, June.
  13. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Maternal Employment and Adolescent Development," IZA Discussion Papers 1673, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Bound, John, 1991. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1427-34, December.
  15. David Blau, 2003. "Child Care Subsidy Programs," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 443-516 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins & Irwin Garfinkel, 1992. "A Structural Model of Labor Supply and Child Care Demand," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 166-203.
  17. Parsons, Donald O, 1991. "The Health and Earnings of Rejected Disability Insurance Applicants: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1419-26, December.
  18. Patricia M. Anderson & Phillip B. Levine, 1999. "Child Care and Mothers' Employment Decisions," JCPR Working Papers 64, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  19. Kevin Milligan & Mark Stabile, 2004. "The Integration of Child Tax Credits and Welfare: Evidence from the National Child Benefit Program," NBER Working Papers 10968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. James J. Heckrnan, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 491-524 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Lisa M. Powell, 2002. "Joint Labor Supply and Childcare Choice Decisions of Married Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 106-128.
  22. Currie, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Does Head Start make a Difference?," Papers 95-10, RAND - Reprint Series.
  23. repec:rus:hseeco:9882 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Stafford, Frank P, 1987. "Women's Work, Sibling Competition, and Children's School Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 972-80, December.
  25. 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.
  26. Kevin Milligan, 2002. "Subsidizing the Stork: New Evidence on Tax Incentives and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 8845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Karen Norberg, 1998. "The Effects of Daycare Reconsidered," NBER Working Papers 6769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "Introduction to "Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States"," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. Quebec's failed daycare policy
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2008-03-10 12:43:00
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