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Quality Adjusted Cost Functions for Child Care Centers

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  • H. Naci Mocan

Abstract

Using a newly compiled data set, this paper estimates multi- product translog cost functions for 399 child care centers from California, Colorado, Connecticut, and North Carolina. Quality of child care is controlled by a quality index, which has been shown to be positively related to child outcomes by previous research. Nonprofit centers that receive public money, either from the state or federal government, (which is tied to higher standards), have total variable costs that are 18 percent higher than other centers, keeping quality of services constant. No statistically significant differences between general categories of for-profit and non-profit centers are detected. Furthermore, various types of nonprofits are not distinguishable from their for-profit counterparts. In agreement with previous studies, the data show that the average quality of center-based child care is between 'minimal' and 'good', and it costs 13 cents per hour per child to increase this average quality to the level considered developmentally appropriate by child care experts.

Suggested Citation

  • H. Naci Mocan, 1995. "Quality Adjusted Cost Functions for Child Care Centers," NBER Working Papers 5040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5040
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Irene Powell & James Cosgrove, 1992. "Quality and Cost in Early Childhood Education," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(3), pages 472-484.
    2. Kennedy, Peter E, 1981. "Estimation with Correctly Interpreted Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations [The Interpretation of Dummy Variables in Semilogarithmic Equations]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 801-801, September.
    3. repec:mes:challe:v:33:y:1990:i:2:p:56-58 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. François Destandau & Serge Garcia, 2014. "Service quality, scale economies and ownership: an econometric analysis of water supply costs," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 152-182, October.
    2. NAUGES Céline & VAN DEN BERG Caroline, 2007. "How "natural" are natural monopolies in the water supply and sewerage sector? Case studies from developing and transition economies," LERNA Working Papers 07.05.226, LERNA, University of Toulouse.
    3. Blau, David & Currie, Janet, 2006. "Pre-School, Day Care, and After-School Care: Who's Minding the Kids?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    4. H. Naci Mocan, 1995. "The Child Care Industry: Cost Functions, Efficiency, and Quality," NBER Working Papers 5293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Abate, Megersa & Lijesen, Mark & Pels, Eric & Roelevelt, Adriaan, 2013. "The impact of reliability on the productivity of railroad companies," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 41-49.
    6. H. Naci Mocan, 2001. "Can Consumers Detect Lemons? Information Asymmetry in the Market for Child Care," NBER Working Papers 8291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. David M. Blau & H. Naci Mocan, 2002. "The Supply Of Quality In Child Care Centers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 483-496, August.
    8. Tasneem Chipty & Ann Dryden Witte, 1998. "Effects of Information Provision in an Vertically Differentiated Market," NBER Working Papers 6493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Céline Nauges & Caroline Berg, 2008. "Economies of density, scale and scope in the water supply and sewerage sector: a study of four developing and transition economies," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 144-163, October.
    10. Boyce, John R. & Hollis, Aidan, 2005. "Governance of electricity transmission systems," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 237-255, March.
    11. H. Naci Mocan & Deborah Viola, 1997. "The Determinants of Child Care Workers' Wages and Compensation: Sectoral Differences, Human Capital, Race, Insiders and Outsiders," NBER Working Papers 6328, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Bönisch Peter & Tagge Sven, 2012. "The Optimal Size of German Child Care Centers and the Impact of Regulation: Estimating the Cost Function of a Regulated Multi-Product Firm," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 232(5), pages 545-566, October.
    13. David S Saal & David Parker, 2000. "The impact of privatization and regulation on the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales: a translog cost function model," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 253-268.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General

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