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Does Expanding Public Child Care Encourage Fertility? County-Level Evidence from Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Stefan Bauernschuster
  • Timo Hener

    ()

  • Helmut Rainer

    ()

Abstract

Germany has the lowest birth rate among all OECD countries. To encourage fertility, the federal government has recently introduced a set of reforms that led to a substantial expansion of public child care for under three year old children. Using administrative county-level data, we exploit within-county variation in this expansion and find evidence that the provision of public child care causes an increase in birth rates. Extended empirical specifications suggest that our results are neither confounded by selective migration nor driven by tempo effects. Our analysis therefore provides some first evidence that low fertility may be reversed through changes in public policy that allow women to combine employment and motherhood.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_158
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/IfoWorkingPaper-158.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Miriam Maeder, 2014. "Earnings-related parental leave benefits and subjective well-being of young mothers: evidence from a German parental leave reform," Working Papers 148, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    2. Holger Bonin & Anita Fichtl & Helmut Rainer & C. Katharina Spieß & Holger Stichnoth & Katharina Wrohlich, 2013. "Zentrale Resultate der Gesamtevaluation familienbezogener Leistungen," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 80(40), pages 3-13.
    3. Levin,Victoria & Besedina,Elena & Aritomi,Tami, 2016. "Going beyond the first child : analysis of Russian mothers'desired and actual fertility Patterns," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7643, The World Bank.
    4. World Bank, 2015. "Searching for a New Silver Age in Russia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22611, The World Bank.
    5. Bergemann, Annette & Riphahn, Regina T., 2015. "Maternal Employment Effects of Paid Parental Leave," IZA Discussion Papers 9073, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Kai Hong & Kacie Dragan & Sherry Glied, 2017. "Seeing and Hearing: The Impacts of New York City’s Universal Prekindergarten Program on the Health of Low-Income Children," NBER Working Papers 23297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Holger Bonin & Anita Fichtl & Helmut Rainer & C. Katharina Spieß & Holger Stichnoth & Katharina Wrohlich, 2013. "Lehren für die Familienpolitik – Zentrale Resultate der Gesamtevaluation familienbezogener Leistungen," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 66(18), pages 22-30, October.
    8. Valeriy Elizarov & Victoria Levin, 2015. "Family Policies in Russia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 22614, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Public child care; fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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