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Childcare Use And Parents' Labour Supply In Australia

  • GUYONNE KALB
  • WANG-SHENG LEE

Based on data which are representative of the Australian population in 2002, this paper first analyses the demand for and cost of formal and informal childcare for couple and sole-parent families, shedding light on factors which affect the demand for childcare. The predicted demand of formal childcare and the predicted costs of informal childcare arising from these models are then used to impute total childcare costs at different levels of labour supply. Finally, the predicted total costs are incorporated in the estimation procedure of structural labour supply models for couple and sole parent families. By making several extensions to the methodology adopted in Doiron and Kalb (2005a), who estimated similar models based on 1996 Australian data and which this paper largely replicates in terms of methodology, it is found that the average elasticities of labour supply with regard to the cost of childcare are quite similar to the earlier estimates. The elasticities remain at the lower end of the range found in the international literature with the exception of the elasticities for sole parents with preschool children and/or on relatively low wages. Copyright 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Australian Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 47 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (09)
Pages: 272-295

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ausecp:v:47:y:2008:i:3:p:272-295
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  1. Callan, T. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1994. "Family labour supply and taxes in Ireland," Discussion Paper 1994-26, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  2. John Creedy & Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2003. "Discrete Hours Labour Supply Modelling: Specification, Estimation and Simulation," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2003n21, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  3. Michael P. Keane & Robert Moffitt, 1995. "A structural model of multiple welfare program participation and labor supply," Working Papers 557, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Arthur van Soest, 1995. "Structural Models of Family Labor Supply: A Discrete Choice Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 63-88.
  5. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Julian McCrae & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The labour market impact of the working families’ tax credit," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(1), pages 75-103, March.
  6. Guyonne Kalb, 2002. "Estimation of Labour Supply Models for Four Separate Groups in the Australian Population," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n24, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  7. Rammohan, Anu, 2004. "Child care and female employment decisions: A theoretical note," Working Papers 3, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
  8. Anu Rammohan & Stephen Whelan, 2006. "Child Care Costs and the Employment Status of Married Australian Mothers," CEPR Discussion Papers 517, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  9. Denise Doiron & Guyonne Kalb, 2004. "Demands for Childcare and Household Labour Supply in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2004n06, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
  10. Denise Doiron & Guyonne Kalb, 2002. "Demand for Childcare Services and Labour Supply in Australian Families," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(2), pages 204-213.
  11. Guyonne Kalb & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "Estimation of Wage Equations in Australia: Allowing for Censored Observations of Labour Supply," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2002n08, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
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