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With Strings Attached: Grandparent-Provided Child Care and Female Labor Market Outcomes

  • Eva García-Morán
  • Zoë Kuehn

Grandparents are regular providers of free child care. Similar to other forms of child care, availability of grandparent-provided child care affects fertility and labor force participation of women positively. However, grandparent-provided child care requires residing close to parents or in-laws which may imply costly spatial restrictions. We find that mothers residing close to parents or in-laws have lower wages and that the probability of having to commute increases if relatives provide child care. We build a model of residence choice, fertility, and female labor force participation that can account for the observed relationships. We simulate our model to analyze how women's decisions would change if the availability of grandparent-provided child care or family policies were altered. We nd that if child care subsidies were raised to the Swedish level, fertility and mothers' labor force participation would increase, while mobility would remain unchanged. The absence of grandparents, on the other hand, would increase mobility, while it would only have limited negative e ects on aggregate fertility and labor force participation.

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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 610.

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Length: 46 p.
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp610
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  1. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299, November.
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  3. Dimova, Ralitza & Wolff, François-Charles, 2006. "Do Downward Private Transfers Enhance Maternal Labor Supply? Evidence from around Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 2469, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Lídia Farré & Francis Vella, 2013. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Role Attitudes and its Implications for Female Labour Force Participation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(318), pages 219-247, 04.
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  6. Raquel Bernal & Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Child Care Choices and Children’s Cognitive Achievement: The Case of Single Mothers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 459 - 512.
  7. Raquel Bernal, 2008. "The Effect Of Maternal Employment And Child Care On Children'S Cognitive Development," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1173-1209, November.
  8. Andres Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Diego Restuccia, 2009. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of Parental Leave Policies," Working Papers tecipa-385, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. Mörk, Eva & Sjögren, Anna & Svaleryd, Helena, 2009. "Cheaper Child Care, More Children," IZA Discussion Papers 3942, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Compton, Janice & Pollak, Robert A., 2014. "Family proximity, childcare, and women’s labor force attachment," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 72-90.
  11. Gema Zamarro, 2011. "Family Labor Participation and Child Care Decisions: The Role of Grannies," Working Papers 833, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  12. Arpino, Bruno & Pronzato, Chiara & Tavares, Lara Patrício, 2010. "All in the family: informal childcare and mothers' labour market participation," ISER Working Paper Series 2010-24, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  13. Mary Elizabeth Hughes & Linda J. Waite & Tracey A. LaPierre & Ye Luo, 2007. "All in the Family: The Impact of Caring for Grandchildren on Grandparents' Health," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 62(2), pages S108-S119.
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