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The Impact of Non-Parental Child Care on Child Development: Evidence from the Summer Participation "Dip"

  • Herbst, Chris M.

    ()

    (Arizona State University)

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    Although a large literature examines the effect of non-parental child care on preschool-aged children's cognitive development, few studies deal convincingly with the potential endogeneity of child care choices. Using a panel of infants and toddlers from the Birth cohort of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study (ECLS-B), this paper attempts to provide causal estimates by leveraging heretofore unrecognized seasonal variation in child care participation. Child assessments in the ECLS-B were conducted on a rolling basis throughout the year, and I use the participation "dip" among those assessed during the summer as the basis for an instrumental variable. The summer participation "dip" is likely to be exogenous because ECLS-B administrators strictly controlled the mechanism by which children were assigned to assessment dates. The OLS results show that children utilizing non-parental arrangements score higher on tests of mental ability, a finding that holds after accounting for individual fixed effects. However, the instrumental variables estimates point to sizeable negative effects of non-parental care. The adverse effects are driven by participation in formal settings, and, contrary to previous research, I find that disadvantaged children do not benefit from exposure to non-parental child care settings.

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    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7039.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7039.

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    Length: 75 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2012
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2013 [online first]
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7039
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    1. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
    2. Janet Currie & V. Joseph Hotz, 2002. "Accidents Will Happen? Unintentional Childhood Injuries and the Effects of Child Care Regulations," JCPR Working Papers 268, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
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    5. Leibowitz, Arleen, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S111-S131, Part II, .
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    7. Herbst, Chris M. & Tekin, Erdal, 2010. "Child care subsidies and child development," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 618-638, August.
    8. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L Miller, 2007. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 159-208, 02.
    9. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 432-456 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Herbst, Chris M. & Tekin, Erdal, 2011. "The Geographic Accessibility of Child Care Subsidies and Evidence on the Impact of Subsidy Receipt on Childhood Obesity," IZA Discussion Papers 6025, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Kasey S. Buckles & Daniel M. Hungerman, 2013. "Season of Birth and Later Outcomes: Old Questions, New Answers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 711-724, July.
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    14. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    15. Chris M. Herbst & Erdal Tekin, 2010. "The Impact of Child Care Subsidies on Child Well-Being: Evidence from Geographic Variation in the Distance to Social Service Agencies," NBER Working Papers 16250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
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    18. Hansen, Christian & Hausman, Jerry & Newey, Whitney, 2008. "Estimation With Many Instrumental Variables," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 398-422.
    19. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2000. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 7666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. William T. Gormley, Jr. & Ted Gayer, 2005. "Promoting School Readiness in Oklahoma: An Evaluation of Tulsa's Pre-K Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
    21. Susanna Loeb & Bruce Fuller & Sharon Lynn Kagan & Bidemi Carrol & Judith Carroll, 2003. "Child Care in Poor Communities: Early Learning Effects of Type, Quality, and Stability," NBER Working Papers 9954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    23. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 111-135 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
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