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A Forgotten Issue: Distributional Effects of Day Care Subsidies in Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Michaela Kreyenfeld
  • C. Katharina Spieß
  • Gert G. Wagner

Abstract

In westlichen Industrienationen besteht heute im allgemeinen ein Konsens darüber, dass die Betreuung in Kindertageseinrichtungen öffentlich subventioniert werden sollte. Weniger Klarheit besteht jedoch über die verteilungspolitischen Effekte der öffentlichen Förderung von Kinderbetreuung. Eine solche Unkenntnis über die Verteilungseffekte der öffentlichen Förderung von Kinderbetreuung kann jedoch dazu führen, dass Einkommensgruppen öffentliche Mittel in Anspruch nehmen, die dieser Gelder nicht bedürfen. Wie in einigen anderen europäischen Staaten werden auch in Deutschland bestimmte Anbieter von Kindertageseinrichtungen öffentlich gefördert bzw. die Kommunen betreiben selbst Kindertageseinrichtungen. Damit kommen den Eltern, deren Kinder Kindertageseinrichtungen besuchen, indirekt öffentliche Gelder zu, gleichwohl sie über Elternbeiträge einen geringen Teil der Kosten selbst abdecken. In dieser Studie untersuchen wir die distributiven Effekte der Förderung von Kindertageseinrichtungen in Deutschland, indem wir Mikrodaten auf Haushaltsebene mit Informationen über die öffentlichen Ausgaben im Bereich von Kindertageseinrichtungen kombinieren. Ein wichtiges Ergebnis der Analyse ist, dass über die gegenwärtige "Anbieter-Förderung" nur sehr geringe Umverteilungswirkungen erzielt werden. Vorrangig kommen die Subventionen im Bereich der Kinderbetreuung mittleren Einkommensgruppen zugute, was dem politischen und gesellschaftlichen Ziel, im Kindertagesstättenbereich insbesondere Kinder aus unteren Einkommensgruppen zu fördern, widerspricht. In general child care subsidies are widely accepted as a means to create equal chances for mothers in the labour market as well as for children. Although there is a general consensus that the use of child care should be publicly supported, there is no consensus on how this should be done. Moreover, there is little knowledge on the distributional effects of child care subsidies. In order to assess whether public expenditures are targeted efficiently, it is, however, vital to know which social groups profit most from the public expenditures on children's day care and if tax-payers money is spent effectively. In Germany, as in other European countries, child care subsidies are mainly provided 'in-kind'. Local communities and NPOs provide child care slots for children, which are - except for a small fee - free of charge. In this study we estimate the distributional effects of state funded child day care in Germany using microdata of households and data on the expenditure of public funded child care. Major results are that child care subsidies only carry modest redistributional effects. In the first place, it is the middle income range that profits from the public provision of children's day care. This contradicts common public policy recommendations, which state that low income families should be the first target of child care subsidies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michaela Kreyenfeld & C. Katharina Spieß & Gert G. Wagner, 2000. "A Forgotten Issue: Distributional Effects of Day Care Subsidies in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 226, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp226
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Katharina Spieß, 1997. "American and German Mother's Child Care Choice: Does Policy Matter?," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 66(1), pages 125-135.
    2. David Blau, 2003. "Child Care Subsidy Programs," NBER Chapters,in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 443-516 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Siv Gustafsson & Frank Stafford, 1992. "Child Care Subsidies and Labor Supply in Sweden," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 204-230.
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2007. "Chile - County Gender Assessment : Expanding Women's Work Choices to Enhance Chile's Economic Potential," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7639, The World Bank.
    2. Colm Harmon & Claire Finn & Arnaud Chevalier & Tarja Viitanen, 2006. "The economics of early childhood care and education : technical research paper for the National Economic and Social Forum," Open Access publications 10197/671, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    3. Marcus Dittrich & Wolfgang Gerstenberger & Beate Henschel & Gunther Markwardt & Carsten Pohl & Heinz Schmalholz & Marcel Thum, 2004. "Demographische Entwicklung im Freistaat Sachsen : Analyse und Strategien zum Bevölkerungsrückgang auf dem Arbeitsmarkt ; Gutachten im Auftrag der Sächsischen Staatskanzlei," ifo Dresden Studien, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 36, October.
    4. Joris Ghysels & Wim Van Lancker, 2010. "The unequal benefits of family activation: an analysis of the social distribution of family policy among families with young children," Working Papers 1008, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    5. Eiko Kenjoh, 2005. "New Mothers' Employment and Public Policy in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Japan," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 5-49, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child day care; child care subsidies; distributional effects; social policy;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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