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

Listed author(s):
  • Stefan Bauernschuster
  • Timo Hener
  • Helmut Rainer

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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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/jeea.2016.14.issue-4
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Article provided by European Economic Association in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 14 (2016)
Issue (Month): 4 (08)
Pages: 975-1005

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:14:y:2016:i:4:p:975-1005
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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, 08.
  3. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 279-288, Part II, .
  4. Paul Demeny, 1986. "Population and the invisible hand," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 23(4), pages 473-487, November.
  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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