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Early Child Care and Child Development: For Whom it Works and Why

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  • Christina Felfe
  • Rafael Lalive

Abstract

Many countries are currently expanding access to child care for young children. But are all children equally likely to benefit from such expansions? We address this question by adopting a marginal treatment effects framework. We study the West German setting where high quality center-based care is severely rationed and use within state differences in child care supply as exogenous variation in child care attendance. Data from the German Socio-Economic Panel provides comprehensive information on child development measures along with detailed information on child care, mother-child interactions, and maternal labor supply. Results indicate strong differences in the effects of child care with respect to observed characteristics (children’s age, birth weight and socio-economic background), but less so with respect to unobserved determinants of selection into child care. Underlying mechanisms are a substitution of maternal care with center-based care, an increase in average quality of maternal care, and an increase in maternal earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Christina Felfe & Rafael Lalive, 2012. "Early Child Care and Child Development: For Whom it Works and Why," CESifo Working Paper Series 4043, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_4043
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Del Boca, Daniela & Piazzalunga, Daniela & Pronzato, Chiara D., 2014. "Early Child Care and Child Outcomes: The Role of Grandparents," IZA Discussion Papers 8565, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Peter, Frauke, 2016. "The effect of involuntary maternal job loss on children's behaviour and non-cognitive skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 43-63.
    3. repec:cep:sticas:/183 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Stefan Bauernschuster & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2016. "Children Of A (Policy) Revolution: The Introduction Of Universal Child Care And Its Effect On Fertility," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 975-1005, August.
    5. Del Boca, Daniela & Piazzalunga, Daniela & Pronzato, Chiara D., 2016. "Early Childcare, Child Cognitive Outcomes and Inequalities in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 10287, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Simona Suardi, 2016. "Child Care, Maternal Employment, and Children’s School Outcomes. An Analysis of Italian Data," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, pages 211-229.
    7. Daniela Del Boca, 2015. "Child Care Arrangements and Labor Supply," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 88074, Inter-American Development Bank.
    8. Daniela Del Boca & Daniela Piazzalunga & Chiara Daniela Pronzato, 2014. "Early child care and child outcomes: the role of grandparents. Evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study," CHILD Working Papers Series 24, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    9. Marigen Narea, 2014. "Does early centre-based care have an impact on child cognitive and socio-emotional development? Evidence from Chile," CASE Papers case183, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    10. Fessler, Pirmin & Schneebaum, Alyssa, 2016. "The Returns to Preschool Attendance," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 5176, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    11. Felfe, Christina & Lalive, Rafael, 2014. "Does Early Child Care Help or Hurt Children's Development?," IZA Discussion Papers 8484, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Francisco Azpitarte & Abraham Chigavazira & Guyonne Kalb & Brad M. Farrant & Francisco Perales & Stephen R. Zubrick, 2016. "Childcare Use and Its Role in Indigenous Child Development: Evidence from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children in Australia," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2016n36, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    13. Nina Drange & Tarjei Havnes, 2012. "Kindergarten for all: Long run effects of a universal intervention," Discussion Papers 695, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    14. Andreoli, Francesco & Havnes, Tarjei & Lefranc, Arnaud, 2014. "Equalization of Opportunity: Definitions, Implementable Conditions and Application to Early-Childhood Policy Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 8503, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Christina Felfe & Natalia Nollenberger & Núria Rodríguez-Planas, 2015. "Can’t buy mommy’s love? Universal childcare and children’s long-term cognitive development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 393-422, April.
    16. Stefan Bauernschuster & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2013. "Does Expanding Public Child Care Encourage Fertility? County-Level Evidence from Germany," ifo Working Paper Series 158, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    17. Alexandra Kröll & Rainald Borck, 2013. "The Influence of Child Care on Maternal Health and Mother-Child Interaction," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 615, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    18. Daniela Del Boca & Enrica Maria Martino & Daniela Piazzalunga, 2017. "Investments in Early Education and Child Outcomes: The Short and the Long Run," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(1), pages 43-48, 04.
    19. Lauber, Verena & Thomas, Lampert, 2014. "The Effect of Early Universal Daycare on Child Weight Problems," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100399, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:1:p:19307500 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Eibich, Peter & Siedler, Thomas, 2016. "Retirement, intergenerational time transfers and fertility," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145746, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    22. Müller, Kai-Uwe & Wrohlich, Katharina & Sengül, Denise, 2016. "Does subsidized care for toddlers increase maternal labor supply? Evidence from a large-scale expansion of early childcare," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145654, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    23. Carlsson, Sissa & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2015. "Improving the Allocation of Spots in Child Care Facilities for Toddlers in Germany: A Mechanism Design Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 8976, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    24. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Hener, Timo & Rainer, Helmut, 2013. "Does the Expansion of Public Child Care Increase Birth Rates? Evidence from a Low-Fertility Country," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79909, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    25. Ylenia Brilli & Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Monfardini, 2013. "Child Care Arrangements: Determinants and Consequences," CHILD Working Papers Series 18, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    child care; child development; marginal treatment effects;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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