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

  • Stefan Bauernschuster
  • Timo Hener

    ()

  • Helmut Rainer

    ()

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 substantialexpansion of public child care for under three year old children. Using administrativecounty-level data, we exploit within-county variation in this expansion and find evidencethat the provision of public child care causes an increase in birth rates. Extendedempirical specifications suggest that our results are neither confounded by selectivemigration nor driven by tempo effects. Our analysis therefore provides some firstevidence that low fertility may be reversed through changes in public policy that allowwomen to combine employment and motherhood.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-Ifo_Working_Papers/wp-ifo-2013/IfoWorkingPaper-158.pdf
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Paper provided by Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich in its series Ifo Working Paper Series with number Ifo Working Paper No. 158.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_158
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  1. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2011. "Money for nothing? Universal child care and maternal employment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1455-1465.
  2. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  3. Christina Felfe & Rafael Lalive, 2013. "Early Child Care and Child Development: For Whom It Works and Why," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 536, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. 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).
  5. Eva Mörk & Anna Sjögren & Helena Svaleryd, 2013. "Childcare costs and the demand for children—evidence from a nationwide reform," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 33-65, January.
  6. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
  7. Wrohlich, Katharina, 2005. "The Excess Demand for Subsidized Child Care in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1515, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
  9. Lundin, Daniela & Mörk, Eva & Öckert, Björn, 2008. "How far can reduced childcare prices push female labour supply?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 647-659, August.
  10. Pierre Merrigan & Philip Lefebvre, 2002. "The Effect of Childcare and Early Education Arrangements on Developmental Outcomes of Young Children," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 28(2), pages 159-185, June.
  11. Jürgen Dorbritz, 2008. "Germany: Family diversity with low actual and desired fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(17), pages 557-598, July.
  12. Karen Mason & Karen Kuhlthau, 1992. "The perceived impact of child care costs on women’s labor supply and fertility," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 523-543, November.
  13. World Bank, 2009. "World Development Indicators 2009," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4367.
  14. David Blau & Erdal Tekin, 2007. "The determinants and consequences of child care subsidies for single mothers in the USA," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 719-741, October.
  15. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn E. Finlay, 2009. "The Cost of Low Fertility in Europe," NBER Working Papers 14820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
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