Great expectations, but how to achieve them? Explaining patterns of inequality in childcare use across 31 developed countries
Childcare services are increasingly regarded as a major policy lever to mitigate social inequalities. Such services are believed to be effective in reducing poverty and increasing employment rates by allowing both parents to engage in paid employment, as well as to benefit the cognitive and non-cognitive development of young children. This holds in particular for young children from disadvantaged backgrounds, enhancing their future success in education and in the labour market. However, recent studies have shown that the use of formal childcare services is socially stratified, i.e. higher-income families or families with a high-educated mother use childcare services to a much larger extent than lower-income families or families with a low-skilled mother. Due to this social gap in childcare use, government investment in childcare could fail to live up to its inequality-reducing potential or, worse still, may actually exacerbate rather than mitigate social inequalities. Drawing on the comparative social policy literature, this article explores, for the first time, the determinants of inequalities in childcare coverage for a broad set of countries. Our results contribute to a proper understanding of the mechanisms driving inequality in childcare service use, which is crucial to the future of childcare services as an effective policy instrument to mitigate social inequalities in early life.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.centreforsocialpolicy.eu|
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bonoli, Giuliano, 2013. "The Origins of Active Social Policy: Labour Market and Childcare Policies in a Comparative Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199669769, July.
- Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
- Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
- Joris Ghysels & Evelien Van Vlasselaer, 2008. "Child Well-being in Flanders: A Multidimensional Account," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 89(2), pages 283-304, November.
- Wim Van Lancker, 2013. "Putting the child-centred investment strategy to the test: Evidence for the EU27," Working Papers 1301, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
- Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1988. "Child-Care Costs and Family Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 374-81, August.
- Daniela Del Boca & Daniela Vuri, 2006.
"The Mismatch between Employment and Child Care in Italy: the Impact of Rationing,"
Carlo Alberto Notebooks
31, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
- Daniela Del Boca & Daniela Vuri, 2007. "The mismatch between employment and child care in Italy: the impact of rationing," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 805-832, October.
- Daniela Del Boca & Daniela Vuri, 2006. "The Mismatch between Employment and Child Care in Italy: the Impact of Rationing," CHILD Working Papers wp08_06, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
- Danièle Meulders & Jérôme De Henau & Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai, 2007. "Making time for working parents: comparing public childcare provision," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7708, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Herwig Immervoll & David Barber, 2005.
"Can Parents Afford to Work?: Childcare Costs, Tax-Benefit Policies and Work Incentives,"
OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers
31, OECD Publishing.
- Immervoll, Herwig & Barber, David, 2006. "Can Parents Afford to Work? Childcare Costs, Tax-Benefit Policies and Work Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 1932, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Katherine A. Magnuson & Christopher J. Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2004.
"Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance?,"
NBER Working Papers
10452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Magnuson, Katherine A. & Ruhm, Christopher & Waldfogel, Jane, 2007. "Does prekindergarten improve school preparation and performance?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-51, February.
- Mackenbach, Johan P. & Kunst, Anton E., 1997. "Measuring the magnitude of socio-economic inequalities in health: An overview of available measures illustrated with two examples from Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 757-771, March.
- Katharina Wrohlich, 2011.
"Labor Supply and Child Care Choices in a Rationed Child Care Market,"
Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin
1169, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Wrohlich, Katharina, 2006. "Labor Supply and Child Care Choices in a Rationed Child Care Market," IZA Discussion Papers 2053, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Katharina Wrohlich, 2006. "Labor Supply and Child Care Choices in a Rationed Child Care Market," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 570, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- Charles Baum, 2002. "A dynamic analysis of the effect of child care costs on the work decisions of low-income mothers with infants," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 139-164, February.
- 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.
- Wim Van Lancker & Joris Ghysels, 2011. "Who reaps the benefits? The social distribution of public childcare in Sweden and Flanders," Working Papers 1106, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
- Nicole M Fortin, 2005. "Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 416-438, Autumn.
- Corak, Miles, 2006. "Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults? Lessons from a Cross Country Comparison of Generational Earnings Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 1993, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hdl:wpaper:1305. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wim Van Lancker)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.