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Children Of A (Policy) Revolution: The Introduction Of Universal Child Care And Its Effect On Fertility

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  • Stefan Bauernschuster
  • Timo Hener
  • Helmut Rainer

Abstract

What role does affordable and widely available public child care play for fertility? We exploit a major German reform generating large temporal and spatial variation in child care coverage for children under the age of three. Our precise and robust estimates on birth register data reveal that increases in public child care have significant positive effects on fertility. The fertility effects are more pronounced at the intensive than at the extensive margin, and are not driven by tempo effects or selective migration. Our findings inform policy makers concerned about suboptimally low fertility by suggesting that universal early child care holds the promise of being an effective means of increasing birth rates.
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Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Bauernschuster & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2016. "Children Of A (Policy) Revolution: The Introduction Of Universal Child Care And Its Effect On Fertility," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 975-1005, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:14:y:2016:i:4:p:975-1005
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jeea.2016.14.issue-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jürgen Dorbritz, 2008. "Germany: Family diversity with low actual and desired fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(17), pages 557-598, July.
    2. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, August.
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    5. Felfe, Christina & Lalive, Rafael, 2012. "Early Child Care and Child Development: For Whom it Works and Why," IZA Discussion Papers 7100, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Chiara Pronzato, 2009. "Motherhood and market work decisions in institutional context: a European perspective," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages 147-171, April.
    7. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
    8. Blau, David M. & Tekin, Erdal, 2001. "The Determinants and Consequences of Child Care Subsidies for Single Mothers," IZA Discussion Papers 383, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Cigno, Alessandro, 1993. "Intergenerational transfers without altruism : Family, market and state," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 505-518, November.
    10. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2009. "Maternal Labor Supply and the Introduction of Kindergartens into American Public Schools," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
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    Cited by:

    1. Bloom, David E. & Luca, Dara Lee, 2016. "The Global Demography of Aging: Facts, Explanations, Future," IZA Discussion Papers 10163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Volker Meier, 2017. "Zur optimalen Höhe von Subventionen für Kinderbetreuung: Ist das Betreuungsgeld überflüssig?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 70(04), pages 21-23, February.
    3. Malte Sandner, 2015. "Effects of Early Childhood Intervention on Fertility and Maternal Employment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 799, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. BOUSSELIN Audrey, 2017. "Childcare, maternal employment and residential location," LISER Working Paper Series 2017-05, LISER.
    5. Dehos, Fabian & Paul, Marie, 2017. "The effects of after-school programs on maternal employment," Ruhr Economic Papers 686, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    6. Gerhard Glomm & Volker Meier, 2016. "Modes of Child Care," CESifo Working Paper Series 6287, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Romiti, Agnese, 2016. "The effects of immigration on household services, labour supply and fertility," IAB Discussion Paper 201640, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    8. Fukai, Taiyo, 2017. "Childcare availability and fertility: Evidence from municipalities in Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-18.
    9. David E. Bloom & Dara Lee Luca, 2016. "The Global Demography of Aging: Facts, Explanations, Future," PGDA Working Papers 13016, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
    10. Kamila Cygan-Rehm, 2016. "Parental leave benefit and differential fertility responses: evidence from a German reform," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 73-103, January.
    11. Bergemann, Annette & Riphahn, Regina T., 2015. "Maternal Employment Effects of Paid Parental Leave," IZA Discussion Papers 9073, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Eibich, Peter & Siedler, Thomas, 2016. "Retirement, intergenerational time transfers and fertility," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145746, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Stefan Bauernschuster & Anita Fichtl & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2014. "Kinder einer Politikreform: Führen mehr Krippenplätze zu mehr Kindern?," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 67(10), pages 30-37, May.
    14. Hudde, Ansgar, 2016. "Fertility Is Low When There Is No Societal Agreement on a Specific Gender Role Model," EconStor Preprints 142175, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    15. Kamila Cygan-Rehm, 2016. "Parental leave benefit and differential fertility responses: evidence from a German reform," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 73-103, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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