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No Child Left Behind: Subsidized Child Care and Children's Long-Run Outcomes

  • Tarjei Havnes
  • Magne Mogstad

Many developed countries are currently considering a move toward subsidized, widely accessible child care or preschool. However, studies on how large-scale provision of child care affects child development are scarce, and focused on short-run outcomes. We analyze a large-scale expansion of subsidized child care in Norway, addressing the impact on children's long-run outcomes. Our precise and robust difference-in-differences estimates show that subsidized child care had strong positive effects on children's educational attainment and labor market participation, and also reduced welfare dependency. Subsample analyses indicate that girls and children with low-educated mothers benefit the most from child care. (JEL J13, J16)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 97-129

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:3:y:2011:i:2:p:97-129
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.2.97
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-policy
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  1. Bernal, Raquel & Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Quasi-structural estimation of a model of childcare choices and child cognitive ability production," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 164-189, May.
  2. 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.
  3. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2004. "Can Labor Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 91-134, February.
  4. Loeb, Susanna & Bridges, Margaret & Bassok, Daphna & Fuller, Bruce & Rumberger, Russell W., 2007. "How much is too much? The influence of preschool centers on children's social and cognitive development," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 52-66, February.
  5. 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.
  6. Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani & Marco Manacorda, 2006. "Giving children a better start: preschool attendance and school-age profiles," IFS Working Papers W06/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Kasey Buckles, 2008. "Understanding the Returns to Delayed Childbearing for Working Women," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 403-07, May.
  8. 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.
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