Putting the child-centred investment strategy to the test: Evidence for the EU27
AbstractUnder the social investment paradigm, a child-centred investment strategy has been developed. Mainstay of such strategy is the provision of childcare services, which are expected to increase maternal employment rates, further children’s human capital and mitigate social inequalities in early life. In this article, I critically assess the child-centred investment strategy and explore whether childcare services in European countries in their current state of affairs are up to the task of producing the anticipated benefits. The argument I develop is fairly simple: in order to be effective, childcare services should cover all social groups, in particular children from a disadvantaged background. Drawing on recent EU-SILC data I show that in all but one country this condition is not met: childcare is often used at low or moderate levels, and children from low-income families participate to a much lesser extent than children from high-income families. In order to overcome these childcare deficits, countries should pursue a consistent investment strategy which entails increasing childcare supply and increasing employment opportunities for all social groups. This will require huge budgetary efforts for most member states.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp in its series Working Papers with number 1301.
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
child-centred investment strategy; childcare; ECEC; European Union; inequality; social investment;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-02-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2013-02-03 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-EUR-2013-02-03 (Microeconomic European Issues)
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.:
- Katharina Wrohlich, 2011.
"Labor Supply and Child Care Choices in a Rationed Child Care Market,"
Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin
1169, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Katharina Wrohlich, 2006. "Labor Supply and Child Care Choices in a Rationed Child Care Market," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 570, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Wrohlich, Katharina, 2006. "Labor Supply and Child Care Choices in a Rationed Child Care Market," IZA Discussion Papers 2053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Rucker Johnson & Ariel Kalil & Rachel Dunifon, 2012. "Employment Patterns of Less-Skilled Workers: Links to Children’s Behavior and Academic Progress," Demography, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 747-772, May.
- Wen-Hao Chen & Miles Corak, 2008. "Child poverty and changes in child poverty," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 537-553, August.
- Tarjei Havnes & Magne Mogstad, 2011. "No Child Left Behind: Subsidized Child Care and Children's Long-Run Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 97-129, May.
- Michael Baker, 2011. "Innis Lecture: Universal early childhood interventions: what is the evidence base?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1069-1105, November.
- Wim Van Lancker & Joris Ghysels, 2011. "Who reaps the benefits? The social distribution of public childcare in Sweden and Flanders," Working Papers 1106, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
- Maria-Isabel Farfan-Portet & Vincent Lorant & Francesca Petrella, 2011. "Access to Childcare Services: The Role of Demand and Supply-Side Policies," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 165-183, April.
- Bea Cantillon & Wim Van Lancker, 2011. "Solidarity and reciprocity in the social investment state: what can be learned from the case of Flemish school allowances and truancy?," Working Papers 1109, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
- Baker, Michael, 2011. "Universal Early Childhood Interventions: What is the Evidence Base?," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-29, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2011.
- Hemerijck, Anton, 2011. "21st Century Welfare Provision is more than the "social insurance state": A reply to Paul Pierson," Working papers of the ZeS 03/2011, University of Bremen, Centre for Social Policy Research (ZeS).
- James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003.
"Human Capital Policy,"
NBER Working Papers
9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich Ursprung & Ludger Woessmann, 2005.
"Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
1518, CESifo Group Munich.
- Jane Waldfogel, 2002. "Child care, women's employment, and child outcomes," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 527-548.
- Tarja K. Viitanen, 2005. "Cost of Childcare and Female Employment in the UK," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 149-170, December.
- Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1998.
"School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start,"
NBER Working Papers
6362, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 2000. "School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 755-774.
- Joris Ghysels & Wim Van Lancker, 2010. "The unequal benefits of family activation: an analysis of the social distribution of family policy among families with young children," Working Papers 1008, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
- Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
- Magnuson, Katherine A. & Ruhm, Christopher & Waldfogel, Jane, 2007.
"Does prekindergarten improve school preparation and performance?,"
Economics of Education Review,
Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-51, February.
- 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.
- Gornick, Janet C. & Jäntti, Markus, 2012. "Child poverty in cross-national perspective: Lessons from the Luxembourg Income Study," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 558-568.
- Korpi, Walter & Ferrarini, Tommy & Englund, Stefan, 2011. "Women's Opportunities under Different Constellations of Family Policies in Western Countries: Inequality Tradeoffs Re-examined," Working Paper Series 2/2011, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
- Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1988. "Child-Care Costs and Family Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 374-81, August.
- Wim Van Lancker & Joris Ghysels, 2013. "Great expectations, but how to achieve them? Explaining patterns of inequality in childcare use across 31 developed countries," Working Papers 1305, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wim Van Lancker).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.