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Behavioral Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment

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  • Hermes, Henning

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

  • Lergetporer, Philipp

    (Technical University of Munich, TUM School of Management & ifo Institute Munich)

  • Peter, Frauke

    (German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW) & DIW Berlin)

  • Wiederhold, Simon

    (KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Ingolstadt School of Management & ifo Institute Munich)

Abstract

Children with lower socioeconomic status (SES) tend to benefit more from early child care, but are substantially less likely to be enrolled. We study whether reducing behavioral barriers in the application process increases enrollment in child care for lower-SES children. In our RCT in Germany with highly subsidized child care (n > 600), treated families receive application information and personal assistance for applications. For lower-SES families, the treatment increases child care application rates by 21 pp and enrollment rates by 16 pp. Higher-SES families are not affected by the treatment. Thus, alleviating behavioral barriers closes half of the SES gap in early child care enrollment.

Suggested Citation

  • Hermes, Henning & Lergetporer, Philipp & Peter, Frauke & Wiederhold, Simon, 2021. "Behavioral Barriers and the Socioeconomic Gap in Child Care Enrollment," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 16/2021, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:nhheco:2021_016
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    Cited by:

    1. Hermes, Henning & Krauß, Marina & Lergetporer, Philipp & Peter, Frauke & Wiederhold, Simon, 2022. "Early child care and labor supply of lower-SES mothers: A randomized controlled trial," DICE Discussion Papers 394, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
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    5. Angerer, Silvia & Glätzle-Rützler, Daniela & Lergetporer, Philipp & Rittmannsberger, Thomas, 2023. "How does the vaccine approval procedure affect COVID-19 vaccination intentions?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).
    6. Emilia Soldani, 2021. "Public kindergarten, maternal labor supply, and earnings in the longer run: Too little too late?," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 35(2), pages 214-263, June.
    7. Silvia Angerer & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Philipp Lergetporer & Thomas Rittmannsberger, 2022. "How does the vaccine approval procedure affect COVID-19 vaccination intentions?," Working Papers 2022-04, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, Universität Innsbruck.
    8. Sancassani, Pietro, 2023. "The effect of teacher subject-specific qualifications on student science achievement," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    9. Silvia Angerer & Daniela Glätzle-Rützler & Philipp Lergetporer & Thomas Rittmannsberger, 2022. "How Does the Vaccine Approval Procedure Affect Covid-19 Vaccination Intentions?," CESifo Working Paper Series 9648, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    child care; early childhood; behavioral barriers; information; educational inequality; randomized controlled trial;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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