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The Effects of Day Care on Health During Childhood: Evidence by Age

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  • van den Berg, Gerard J.

    () (University of Bristol)

  • Siflinger, Bettina M.

    () (Tilburg University)

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of day care exposure on behavioral disorders and mental and physical health at various ages during childhood. We draw on a unique set of merged population register data from Sweden over the period 1999-2008. This includes merged information at the individual level from the inpatient and outpatient registers, the population register and the income tax register. The outpatient register contains all ambulatory care contacts including all contacts with physicians and therapists. Visits are recorded by day, and comprehensive diagnoses are recorded for each visit. By exploiting variation in day care exposure by age generated by a major day care policy reform, we estimate cumulative and instantaneous effects on child health at different ages. We find a positive cumulative impact on behavior at primary school ages, in particular for children from low socio-economic status households, and substitution of infections from primary school ages to low ages. All this affects health care utilization and leads to a moderate reduction in health care costs. Results are confirmed by analyses based on a sibling design and on regional and household-specific components of day care fees.

Suggested Citation

  • van den Berg, Gerard J. & Siflinger, Bettina M., 2018. "The Effects of Day Care on Health During Childhood: Evidence by Age," IZA Discussion Papers 11447, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11447
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vikman, Ulrika, 2010. "Does Providing Childcare to Unemployed Affect Unemployment Duration?," Working Paper Series 2010:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Pedro Carneiro & Rita Ginja, 2014. "Long-Term Impacts of Compensatory Preschool on Health and Behavior: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 135-173, November.
    3. Drange, Nina & Havnes, Tarjei & Sandsør, Astrid M.J., 2016. "Kindergarten for all: Long run effects of a universal intervention," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 164-181.
    4. Felfe, Christina & Lalive, Rafael, 2012. "Early Child Care and Child Development: For Whom it Works and Why," IZA Discussion Papers 7100, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Philip Oreopoulos & Mark Stabile & Randy Walld & Leslie L. Roos, 2008. "Short-, Medium-, and Long-Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis Using Siblings and Twins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    6. A. Colin Cameron & Douglas L. Miller, 2015. "A Practitioner’s Guide to Cluster-Robust Inference," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 317-372.
    7. Christina Felfe & Natalia Nollenberger & Núria Rodríguez-Planas, 2015. "Can’t buy mommy’s love? Universal childcare and children’s long-term cognitive development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 393-422, April.
    8. Milagros Nores & Steven W. Barnett, 2012. "Benefits of Early Childhood Interventions Across the World: (Under) Investing in the Very Young," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 200-228.
    9. Hanes, Niklas & Holmlund, Linda & Wikström, Magnus, 2009. "Assessing the Effects of the Child-Care Fee Reform on Public Expenditures and Taxation," Umeå Economic Studies 780, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    10. Vikman, Ulrika, 2010. "Does Providing Childcare to Unemployed Affect Unemployment Duration?," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2010:7, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    child care; pre-school; infections; non-cognitive ability; behavioral disorders; illness; education; health registers; day-care fees;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods

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