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Targeted or Universal Coverage? Assessing Heterogeneity in the Effects of Universal Child Care

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  • Michael J. Kottelenberg
  • Steven F. Lehrer

Abstract

We provide evidence on the distributional effects of Quebec’s universal child care policy. Our analysis uncovers substantial policy relevant heterogeneity in the estimated effect of access to subsidized child care across two developmental score distributions for children from two-parent families. Whereas past research reported findings of negative effects on mothers and children from these families, igniting controversy, our estimates reveal a more nuanced image that formal child care can indeed boost developmental outcomes for children from some households: particularly disadvantaged single-parent households. We present suggestive evidence that the heterogeneity in policy effects is consistent with differences in home learning environments.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Kottelenberg & Steven F. Lehrer, 2017. "Targeted or Universal Coverage? Assessing Heterogeneity in the Effects of Universal Child Care," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 609-653.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/690652
    DOI: 10.1086/690652
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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