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Universal Child Care, Maternal Employment, and Children’s Long-Run Outcomes: Evidence from the US Lanham Act of 1940

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  • Chris M. Herbst

Abstract

This paper analyzes the US Lanham Act of 1940, a heavily subsidized and universal child care program administered during World War II. I first estimate its impact on maternal employment using a triple-differences model. I find that employment increased substantially following the introduction of the program. I then study children’s long-run labor market outcomes. Using Census data from 1970 to 1990, I assess well-being in a life-cycle framework by tracking cohorts of treated individuals throughout their prime working years. Results from difference-in-differences models suggest the program had persistent positive effects, with the largest benefits accruing to the most economically disadvantaged adults.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris M. Herbst, 2017. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Employment, and Children’s Long-Run Outcomes: Evidence from the US Lanham Act of 1940," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 519-564.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/689478
    DOI: 10.1086/689478
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    Cited by:

    1. Ludovica Gambaro & Guido Neidhöfer & C. Katharina Spieß, 2019. "The Effect of Early Childhood Education and Care Services on the Social Integration of Refugee Families," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1828, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Kunze, Astrid & Liu, Xingfei, 2019. "Universal Childcare for the Youngest and the Maternal Labour Supply," IZA Discussion Papers 12146, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:206-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Astrid Kunze & Xingfei Liu, 2019. "Universal Childcare for the Youngest and the Maternal Labour Supply," CESifo Working Paper Series 7509, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Corazzini, Luca & Meschi, Elena & Pavese, Caterina, 2019. "Impact of Early Childcare on Immigrant Children’s Educational Performance," GLO Discussion Paper Series 394, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    6. Conti, Gabriella & Mason, Giacomo & Poupakis, Stavros, 2019. "Developmental Origins of Health Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 12448, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. Aaronson, Daniel & Dehejia, Rajeev & Jordon, Andrew & Pop-Eleches, Cristian & Samii, Cyrus & Schultze, Karl, 2017. "The Effect of Fertility on Mothers’ Labor Supply over the Last Two Centuries," MPRA Paper 76768, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. repec:eee:labeco:v:54:y:2018:i:c:p:172-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:pubeco:v:158:y:2018:i:c:p:79-102 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Kunze, Astrid & Liu, Xingfei, 2019. "Universal Childcare for the Youngest and the Maternal Labour Supply," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 3/2019, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    11. Herbst, Chris M. & Desouza, Kevin C. & Alashri, Saud & Kandala, Srinivasa Srivatsav & Khullar, Mayank & Bajaj, Vikash, 2018. "What Do Parents Value in a Child Care Provider? Evidence from Yelp Consumer Reviews," IZA Discussion Papers 11741, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Dietrichson, Jens & Kristiansen, Ida Lykke & C. V. Nielsen, Bjørn, 2018. "Universal preschool programs and long-term child outcomes: A systematic review," Working Paper Series 2018:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    13. Kunze, Astrid & Liu, Xingfei, 2019. "Universal Childcare for the Youngest and the Maternal Labour Supply," Working Papers 2019-1, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
    14. Buckles, Kasey, 2017. "Maternal Socio-Economic Status and the Well-Being of the Next Generation(s)," IZA Discussion Papers 10714, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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