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Enticing even higher female labor supply: the impact of cheaper day care

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  • Inés Hardoy

    ()

  • Pål Schøne

    ()

Abstract

We ask whether cheaper child care can spur labor supply of mothers in an economy with high female labor supply. We exploit exogenous variation in child care prices induced by a public reform. A triple difference approach is put forward. The results show that reduced child care prices led to a rise in labor supply of mothers by approximately 5 %. A “back-of-the-envelope” calculation estimates an elasticity of approximately −0.25, which is at the lower end compared to other studies, suggesting that labor supply is less elastic when female employment is high. Since a capacity-increase was introduced at the same time, the positive labor supply effect may be a result of both reduced prices and increased capacity. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Inés Hardoy & Pål Schøne, 2015. "Enticing even higher female labor supply: the impact of cheaper day care," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 815-836, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:13:y:2015:i:4:p:815-836
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-013-9215-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lundin, Daniela & Mörk, Eva & Öckert, Björn, 2008. "How far can reduced childcare prices push female labour supply?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 647-659, August.
    2. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Katrine V. L�ken & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2014. "Care or Cash? The Effect of Child Care Subsidies on Student Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(5), pages 824-837, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
    5. David Blau, 2003. "Child Care Subsidy Programs," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 443-516 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Rachel Connelly & Jean Kimmel, 2003. "Marital status and full-time/part-time work status in child care choices," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(7), pages 761-777.
    7. David Blau & Erdal Tekin, 2007. "The determinants and consequences of child care subsidies for single mothers in the USA," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(4), pages 719-741, October.
    8. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1988. "Child-Care Costs and Family Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 374-381, August.
    9. Lundin, Daniela & Mörk, Eva & Öckert, Björn, 2007. "Do reduced child care prices make parents work more?," Working Paper Series 2007:2, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    10. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2011. "Money for nothing? Universal child care and maternal employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1455-1465.
    11. Maria Donovan Fitzpatrick, 2010. "Preschoolers Enrolled and Mothers at Work? The Effects of Universal Prekindergarten," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 51-85, January.
    12. Chris Herbst, 2010. "The labor supply effects of child care costs and wages in the presence of subsidies and the earned income tax credit," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 199-230, June.
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    16. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Smith, Nina & Verner, Mette, 2006. "Child Care and Parental Leave in the Nordic Countries: A Model to Aspire to?," IZA Discussion Papers 2014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Henning Finseraas & Inés Hardoy & Pål Schøne, 2017. "School enrolment and mothers’ labor supply: evidence from a regression discontinuity approach," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 621-638, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor supply; Family policy; Child care costs; Difference-in-differences-in-differences; J13; J18; J22;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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