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Regulation and the cost of childcare


  • Devon Gorry
  • Diana W. Thomas


Female labour market choices depend on the availability, affordability and quality of childcare. In this article, we evaluate different regulatory measures and their effect on both the quality and the cost of childcare. First, we analyse data on regulations and costs to estimate the effect of regulatory measures on the cost of childcare. Next, we summarize the existing literature on the effect of regulation on childcare quality. We find that regulation intended to improve quality often focuses on easily observable measures of the care environment that do not necessarily affect the quality of care but that do increase the cost. Thus, we find that the regulatory environment could be improved by eliminating costly measures that do not affect quality of care.

Suggested Citation

  • Devon Gorry & Diana W. Thomas, 2017. "Regulation and the cost of childcare," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(41), pages 4138-4147, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:49:y:2017:i:41:p:4138-4147
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2016.1276275

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    Cited by:

    1. Diana W. Thomas, 2019. "Regressive effects of regulation," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 180(1), pages 1-10, July.
    2. Michael David Thomas, 2019. "Reapplying behavioral symmetry: public choice and choice architecture," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 180(1), pages 11-25, July.

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