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Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being

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  • Michael Baker
  • Jonathan Gruber
  • Kevin Milligan

Abstract

We analyze the introduction of highly subsidized, universally accessible child care in Quebec, addressing the impact on child care utilization, maternal labor supply, and family well-being. We find strong evidence of a shift into new child care use, although some crowding out of existing arrangements is evident. Maternal labor supply increases significantly. Finally, the evidence suggests that children are worse off by measures ranging from aggression to motor and social skills to illness. We also uncover evidence that the new child care program led to more hostile, less consistent parenting, worse parental health, and lower-quality parental relationships. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:116:y:2008:i:4:p:709-745
    DOI: 10.1086/591908
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

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