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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. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," IZA Discussion Papers 2602, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Maria Fitzpatrick, 2008. "Preschoolers Enrolled and Mothers at Work? The Effects of Universal Pre-Kindergarten," Working Papers 08-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani, 2004. "The effect of a large expansion of pre-primary school facilities on preschool attendance and maternal employment," IFS Working Papers W04/30, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. DAVID M. BLAU & WILBERT van der KLAAUW, 2013. "What Determines Family Structure?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 579-604, 01.
  7. 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.
  8. Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner & and John Knowles, 1999. "More on marriage, fertility, and the distribution of income," Working Paper 9904, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  9. 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).
  10. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2009. "Money for Nothing? Universal Child Care and Maternal Employment," Memorandum 24/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  11. Derek Neal, 2004. "The Relationship Between Marriage Market Prospects and Never-Married Motherhood," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
  12. Del Boca, Daniela, 2002. "The Effect of Child Care and Part Time Opportunities on Participation and Fertility Decisions in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 427, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. 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.
  14. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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).
  18. 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.
  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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