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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Simonsen, Marianne, 2010. "Non-cognitive child outcomes and universal high quality child care," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 30-43, February.
  4. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  5. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2002. "Can Labour Regulation Hinder Economic Performance? Evidence from India," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 33, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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