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Should day care be subsidized?

  • Domeij, David

    ()

    (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Klein, Paul

    ()

    (Institute for International Economics)

In an economy with distortionary taxes on labor, can subsidies on day care, financed by an increase in taxes, raise welfare by encouraging women with small children to work? We show, within a heterogeneous-agent life-cycle framework, that the Ramsey optimal policy consists in equalizing consumption/leisure wedges over the life cycle and across agents. A simple way to implement this is to make day care expenses tax deductible. Calibrating our model to Germany, we find that tax deductibility for day care expenses leads to an approximate doubling of labor supply for both married and single mothers with small children. The overall welfare gain from optimal reform corresponds to a 1.0 percent increase in consumption.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 0729.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0729
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  1. Merz, Monika, 2004. "Women's Hours of Market Work in Germany: The Role of Parental Leave," IZA Discussion Papers 1288, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. 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.
  3. Alexander Bick, 2010. "The Quantitative Role of Child Care for Fertility and Female Labor Force Participation," 2010 Meeting Papers 892, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Gouveia, Miguel, 1997. " Majority Rule and the Public Provision of a Private Good," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 93(3-4), pages 221-44, December.
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  6. Wrohlich, Katharina, 2005. "The Excess Demand for Subsidized Child Care in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1515, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  9. Willem Adema & Donald Gray & Sigrun Kahl, 2003. "Social Assistance in Germany," OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 58, OECD Publishing.
  10. 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.
  11. Andrés Erosa & Martin Gervais, 1998. "Optimal Taxation in Life-Cycle Economies," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9812, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
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  14. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Why are married women working so much?," Staff Report 317, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
  16. Blomquist, Soren & Christiansen, Vidar, 1999. "The political economy of publicly provided private goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 31-54, July.
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  18. John Knowles, 2006. "Why are Married Men Working So Much?," 2006 Meeting Papers 445, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  19. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
  20. David Carey & Harry Tchilinguirian, 2000. "Average Effective Tax Rates on Capital, Labour and Consumption," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 258, OECD Publishing.
  21. Theodore C. Bergstrom & S�ren Blomquist, . "The Political Economy of Subsidized Day Care," ELSE working papers 015, ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution.
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