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Universal Childcare for the Youngest and the Maternal Labour Supply

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  • Kunze, Astrid

    () (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Liu, Xingfei

    () (University of Alberta and IZA)

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate whether the expansion of childcare leads to an increase in the female labour supply. We measure female labour supply at both the extensive and intensive margin. For identification, we exploit a nationwide reform that expanded childcare for 1–2year-olds in Norway. Our results reveal a significant increase in the overall employment of mothers in the target group, but only weak evidence of an increase in contracted hours of work. However, both adjustments are only short term following the reform. When we consider subgroups of mothers more closely, we find substantial heterogeneity in the affected outcomes and the timing of these effects. In particular, when we exclude mothers on job-protected maternity leave and with currently zero hours of work from the target group, we estimate even larger effects on employment and now significant effects on actual hours of work. For mothers with more than one child, we find significant long-term effects of the reform on both employment and hours of work.

Suggested Citation

  • Kunze, Astrid & Liu, Xingfei, 2019. "Universal Childcare for the Youngest and the Maternal Labour Supply," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 3/2019, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2019_003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, August.
    2. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2010. "Public school availability for two-year olds and mothers' labour supply," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 951-962, December.
    3. Chris M. Herbst, 2017. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Employment, and Children’s Long-Run Outcomes: Evidence from the US Lanham Act of 1940," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 519-564.
    4. Stefan Bauernschuster & Timo Hener & Helmut Rainer, 2016. "Children Of A (Policy) Revolution: The Introduction Of Universal Child Care And Its Effect On Fertility," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 975-1005, August.
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    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. Maria Donovan Fitzpatrick, 2010. "Preschoolers Enrolled and Mothers at Work? The Effects of Universal Prekindergarten," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 51-85, January.
    8. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2008. "Child-Care Policy and the Labor Supply of Mothers with Young Children: A Natural Experiment from Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 519-548, July.
    9. Bettendorf, Leon J.H. & Jongen, Egbert L.W. & Muller, Paul, 2015. "Childcare subsidies and labour supply — Evidence from a large Dutch reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 112-123.
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    17. repec:fth:prinin:300 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, 2009. "How Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return to Work? Evidence from Two Natural Experiments," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1363-1402.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Childcare; female labour supply; contracted hours; actual hours; causal effects.;

    JEL classification:

    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies
    • 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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