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Preschoolers Enrolled and Mothers at Work? The Effects of Universal Prekindergarten

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  • Maria Donovan Fitzpatrick

Abstract

Three states recently introduced universal prekindergarten programs offering free preschool to all age-eligible children; policy makers in many other states are promoting similar programs. Using restricted-access data from the Census, together with birthday-based eligibility cutoffs, I employ a regression discontinuity framework to estimate the effects of universal pre-K availability on overall preschool enrollment and maternal labor supply. Universal pre-K availability increases statewide preschool enrollment by about 14% but has little effect on the labor supply of most women. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:v:28:y:2010:i:1:p:51-85
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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