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Who Benefits from Universal Child Care? Estimating Marginal Returns to Early Child Care Attendance

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  • Thomas Cornelissen
  • Christian Dustmann
  • Anna Raute
  • Uta Schönberg

Abstract

We examine heterogeneous treatment effects of a universal child care program in Germany by exploiting variation in attendance caused by a reform that led to a large expansion staggered across municipalities. Drawing on novel administrative data from the full population of compulsory school entry examinations, we find that children with lower (observed and unobserved) gains are more likely to select into child care than children with higher gains. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to attend child care than children from advantaged backgrounds but have larger treatment effects because of their worse outcome when not enrolled in child care.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Cornelissen & Christian Dustmann & Anna Raute & Uta Schönberg, 2018. "Who Benefits from Universal Child Care? Estimating Marginal Returns to Early Child Care Attendance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(6), pages 2356-2409.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/699979
    DOI: 10.1086/699979
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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