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The Effect of Child Care on Family Structure: Theory and Evidence

  • Stefan Bauernschuster
  • Rainald Borck

This paper studies the effect of child care provision on family structure. We present a model of a marriage market with positive assortative matching, where in equilibrium the poorest women stay single. Couples have to decide on the number of children and spousal specialization in home production of public goods and child care. We then study how child care provision affects the equilibrium. Due to specialization in home production, the incentive to use child care is smaller for married mothers than for single mothers. We show that this increases the number of single mothers and the divorce rate. Using survey data from Germany, we also present empirical evidence which is consistent with this finding.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2012/wp-cesifo-2012-03/cesifo1_wp3763.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3763.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3763
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  1. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  2. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "More on Marriage, Fertility and the Distribution of Income," RCER Working Papers 489, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  3. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," CEPR Discussion Papers 6144, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. David Lam, 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 462-487.
  5. Stefan Bauernschuster & Martin Schlotter, 2013. "Public Child Care and Mothers' Labor Supply - Evidence from Two Quasi-Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 4191, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Maria Fitzpatrick, 2008. "Preschoolers Enrolled and Mothers at Work? The Effects of Universal Pre-Kindergarten," Discussion Papers 08-001, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Mark R. Rosenzweig, 1999. "Welfare, Marital Prospects, and Nonmarital Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S3-S32, December.
  8. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2009. "Money for Nothing? Universal Child Care and Maternal Employment," Memorandum 24/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  9. Sebastian Galiani & Samuel Berlinski, 2005. "The Effect of a Large Expansion of Pre-Primary School Facilities on Preschool Attendance and Maternal Employment," Working Papers 77, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Aug 2005.
  10. Stefan Bauernschuster & Helmut Rainer, 2012. "Political regimes and the family: how sex-role attitudes continue to differ in reunified Germany," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 5-27, January.
  11. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
  12. Blau, David M. & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2010. "What Determines Family Structure?," IZA Discussion Papers 4912, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Pierre-André Chiappori & Sonia Oreffice, 2008. "Birth Control and Female Empowerment: An Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(1), pages 113-140, 02.
  14. Derek Neal, 2004. "The Relationship Between Marriage Market Prospects and Never-Married Motherhood," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  15. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2009. "Maternal Labor Supply and the Introduction of Kindergartens into American Public Schools," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(1).
  16. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2008. "Child-Care Policy and the Labor Supply of Mothers with Young Children: A Natural Experiment from Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 519-548, 07.
  17. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "Welfare Reform and Children's Living Arrangements," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
  18. Ribar, David C., 2004. "What Do Social Scientists Know About the Benefits of Marriage? A Review of Quantitative Methodologies," IZA Discussion Papers 998, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2009. "Why is the rate of single-parenthood lower in Canada than in the U.S.? A dynamic equilibrium analysis of welfare policies," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 56-89, February.
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