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Childcare subsidies and labour supply: evidence from a large Dutch reform

Author

Listed:
  • Leon Bettendorf

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Egbert Jongen

    () (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Paul Muller

    (VU/Tinbergen)

Abstract

Over the period 2005-2009 the Dutch government increased childcare subsidies substantially, reducing the average effective parental fee by 50%, and extended subsidies to so-called guestparent care. We estimate the labour supply effect of this reform with a difference-in-differences strategy, using parents with older children as a control group. We find that the reform had a moderately sized impact on labour supply. Furthermore, the effects are an upper bound since there was also an increase in an earned income tax credit for the same treatment group over the same period. The joint reform increased the maternal employment rate by 2.3%-points (3.0%). Average hours worked by mothers increased by 1.1 hours per week (6.2%). Decomposing the hours effect we find that most of the increase in hours is due to the intensive margin response. A number of robustness checks confirm our results.

Suggested Citation

  • Leon Bettendorf & Egbert Jongen & Paul Muller, 2012. "Childcare subsidies and labour supply: evidence from a large Dutch reform," CPB Discussion Paper 217, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:217
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    Cited by:

    1. Asai, Yukiko, 2015. "Parental leave reforms and the employment of new mothers: Quasi-experimental evidence from Japan," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 72-83.
    2. Thor O. Thoresen & Trine Engh Vattø, 2017. "An Up-to-Date Joint Labor Supply and Child Care Choice Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 6641, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Daniela Vuri, 2016. "Do childcare policies increase maternal employment?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 241-241, March.
    4. H. W. Boer, 2016. "For Better or for Worse: Tax Reform in the Netherlands," De Economist, Springer, vol. 164(2), pages 125-157, June.
    5. Marc K. Chan & Robert A. Moffitt, 2018. "Welfare Reform and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 24385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Andersland, Leroy & Nilsen, Øivind A., 2016. "Households’ responses to price changes of formal childcare," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 20/2016, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    7. Eva Lloyd, 2014. "Can Government Intervention in Childcare be Justified?," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 402-405, October.
    8. Marike Knoef & Jan C. van Ours, 2016. "How to stimulate single mothers on welfare to find a job: evidence from a policy experiment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 1025-1061, October.
    9. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2017. "The Economic Consequences of Family Policies: Lessons from a Century of Legislation in High-Income Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 205-230, Winter.
    10. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Schlotter, Martin, 2015. "Public child care and mothers' labor supply—Evidence from two quasi-experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C), pages 1-16.
    11. Henning Finseraas & Inés Hardoy & Pål Schøne, 2017. "School enrolment and mothers’ labor supply: evidence from a regression discontinuity approach," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 621-638, June.
    12. Wim Van Lancker & Jeroen Horemans, 2017. "Into the Great Wide Unknown: Untangling the Relationship between Childcare Service Use and In-Work Poverty," Working Papers 1704, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    13. Haeck, Catherine & Lefebvre, Pierre & Merrigan, Philip, 2015. "Canadian evidence on ten years of universal preschool policies: The good and the bad," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 137-157.
    14. Givord, Pauline & Marbot, Claire, 2015. "Does the cost of child care affect female labor market participation? An evaluation of a French reform of childcare subsidies," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 99-111.
    15. Emre Akgunduz & Egbert Jongen & Paul P.M. Leseman & Janneke Plantenga, 2015. "Quasi-experimental evidence on the relation between child care subsidies and child care quality," CPB Discussion Paper 310, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    16. Y.E. Akgündüz & E. Jongen & Paul P M Leseman & J. Plantenga, 2015. "Quasi-experimental evidenceon the relationbetween child care subsidiesand child care quality," Working Papers 15-08, Utrecht School of Economics.
    17. Martínez A., Claudia & Perticará, Marcela, 2017. "Childcare effects on maternal employment: Evidence from Chile," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 127-137.
    18. Henk-Wim de Boer & Egbert Jongen & Jan Kabatek, 2014. "The effectiveness of fiscal stimuli for working parents," CPB Discussion Paper 286, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    19. Y.E. Akgündüz & J. Plantenga, 2015. "Childcare Prices and Maternal Employment: a Meta-Analysis," Working Papers 15-14, Utrecht School of Economics.
    20. Y.E. Akgündüz & J. Plantenga, 2013. "Competition for a better future? Effects of competition on child care quality," Working Papers 13-14, Utrecht School of Economics.
    21. Nollenberger, Natalia & Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2015. "Full-time universal childcare in a context of low maternal employment: Quasi-experimental evidence from Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 124-136.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • H40 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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