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Political Economy of Subsidized Day Care

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  • Ted Bergstrom

    (University of Michigan, Dept of Economics)

  • Soren Blomquist

Abstract

In a simple model of day care enrollment and labor supply, we have shown that in countries like Sweden where wages are taxed at about 60\%, the government's tax revenue, net of day care subsidies, is likely to be maximized with subsidies covering more than half of day care costs. In contrast, in countries where the marginal tax rate on wages is about 40\%, the subsidy rate that maximizes net government revenue is likely to be between 15\% and 30\%. We also studied the workings of day care subsidies in a federal system. If both federal and local governments collect income taxes and if day care subsidies are set locally, then the subsidy rates chosen by selfish voters in local elections would be lower than the rates they would choose for federal subsidies. In this model all voters are better off if day care subsidy rates are set by the federal government, with voters simultaneously deciding the rate for the entire federation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Public Economics with number 9401001.

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Date of creation: 18 Jan 1994
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:9401001

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References

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  1. Ribar, D.C., 1990. "Child Care And The Labor Supply Of Married Women: Reducted Form Evidence," Papers 9-90-9, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. David M. Blau, 1992. "The Child Care Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 9-39.
  4. repec:fth:louvco:9066 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Blomquist, N. Soren, 1982. "Should educational expenses be deductible? : A comparison of tax bases in a model where education is a choice variable," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 65-83, June.
  6. Munro, Alistair, 1991. "The optimal public provision of private goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 239-261, March.
  7. Boadway, Robin & Marchand, Maurice, 1995. "The Use of Public Expenditures for Redistributive Purposes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 45-59, January.
  8. Munro, Alistair, 1989. "In-kind transfers, cash grants and the supply of labour," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1597-1604, October.
  9. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991. "Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-84, September.
  10. 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.
  11. Robin W. Boadway & Maurice Marchand, 1990. "The Use of Public Expenditure for Distributive Purpose," Working Papers 796, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  12. Siv Gustafsson & Frank Stafford, 1992. "Child Care Subsidies and Labor Supply in Sweden," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 204-230.
  13. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Cash versus Kind, Self-selection, and Efficient Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 691-700, September.
  14. Ireland, Norman J., 1990. "The mix of social and private provision of goods and services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 201-219, November.
  15. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stern, N H, 1974. "Pigou, Taxation and Public Goods," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 119-28, January.
  16. 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.
  17. Besley, Timothy, 1991. " Welfare Improving User Charges for Publicly Provided Private Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(4), pages 495-510.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sherwin Rosen, 1997. "Public Employment, Taxes, and the Welfare State in Sweden," NBER Chapters, in: The Welfare State in Transition: Reforming the Swedish Model, pages 79-108 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rainald Borck & Katharina Wrohlich, 2008. "Preferences for Childcare Policies: Theory and Evidence," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 827, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Carmen Bevia & I?go Iturbe-Ormaetxe, . "Redistribution and Subsidies for Higher Education," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 475.01, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  4. Anna Brink & Katarina Nordblom & Roger Wahlberg, 2007. "Maximum fee versus child benefit: a welfare analysis of Swedish child-care fee reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 457-480, August.
  5. Boadway, Robin & Gahvari, Firouz, 2006. "Optimal taxation with consumption time as a leisure or labor substitute," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(10-11), pages 1851-1878, November.
  6. Brink, Anna & Nordblom, Katarina, 2005. "Child-care quality and fee structure: Effects on labor supply and leisure composition," Working Papers in Economics 157, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.

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