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The Political Economy of Subsidized Day Care

Author

Listed:
  • Theodore C. Bergstrom
  • Sören Blomquist

Abstract

This paper presents a theoretical model of political support for the public provision of day care. In an economy where there are high taxes on wage income, sel sh taxpayers with no children in the day care system may favor substantial public subsidies to day care because such subsidies induce mothers to join the labor force and hence pay income tax. Our model makes explicit quantitative predictions of the relation between the distribution of wages, the income tax rate, and the subsidy rate for day care that maximizes net tax revenue from parents of small children. Applying parameter values from Sweden and the United States, we nd that our model predicts a subsidy rate of between 50% and 100% for Sweden with its high tax rate on wages and between 15% and 30% for the U.S. with its lower tax rate on wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore C. Bergstrom & Sören Blomquist, "undated". "The Political Economy of Subsidized Day Care," ELSE working papers 015, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
  • Handle: RePEc:els:esrcls:015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Blomquist, N. Soren, 1982. "Should educational expenses be deductible? : A comparison of tax bases in a model where education is a choice variable," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 65-83, June.
    2. Ireland, Norman J., 1990. "The mix of social and private provision of goods and services," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 201-219, November.
    3. Boadway, Robin & Marchand, Maurice, 1995. "The Use of Public Expenditures for Redistributive Purposes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 45-59, January.
    4. Besley, Timothy, 1991. " Welfare Improving User Charges for Publicly Provided Private Goods," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 93(4), pages 495-510.
    5. James J. Heckman, 1974. "Effects of Child-Care Programs on Women's Work Effort," NBER Chapters,in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 136-169 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. David C. Ribar, 1992. "Child Care and the Labor Supply of Married Women: Reduced Form Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 134-165.
    7. Blackorby, Charles & Donaldson, David, 1988. "Cash versus Kind, Self-selection, and Efficient Transfers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 691-700, September.
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    10. Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins & Irwin Garfinkel, 1992. "A Structural Model of Labor Supply and Child Care Demand," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 166-203.
    11. 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.
    12. David M. Blau, 1992. "The Child Care Labor Market," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(1), pages 9-39.
    13. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1991. "Public Provision of Private Goods and the Redistribution of Income," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 979-984, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Day care; Labor supply; Subsidy; Taxation; Public provision of private goods; Political economy;

    JEL classification:

    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • 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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