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Who benefits from universal child care? Estimating marginal returns to early child care attendance

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Cornelissen

    () (University of York)

  • Christian Dustmann

    () (University College London, CReAM)

  • Anna Raute

    () (Queen Mary University)

  • Uta Schönberg

    () (University College London, CReAM)

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the heterogeneous treatment effects of a universal child care (preschool) program in Germany by exploiting the exogenous variation in attendance caused by a reform that led to a large staggered expansion across municipalities. Drawing on novel administrative data from the full population of compulsory school entry examinations, we find that children with lower (observed and unobserved) gains are more likely to select into child care than children with higher gains. This pattern of reverse selection on gains is driven by unobserved family background characteristics: children from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to attend child care than children from advantaged backgrounds but have larger treatment effects because of their worse outcome when not enrolled in child care.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Cornelissen & Christian Dustmann & Anna Raute & Uta Schönberg, 2018. "Who benefits from universal child care? Estimating marginal returns to early child care attendance," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1808, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:1808
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joseph J. Doyle Jr., 2007. "Child Protection and Child Outcomes: Measuring the Effects of Foster Care," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1583-1610, December.
    2. James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," CeMMAP working papers CWP22/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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    4. Cornelissen, Thomas & Dustmann, Christian & Raute, Anna & Schönberg, Uta, 2016. "From LATE to MTE: Alternative methods for the evaluation of policy interventions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 47-60.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Universal child care; child development; marginal treatment effects;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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