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Child Care and the Welfare to Work Transition

  • Robert J. Lemke
  • Ann Dryden Witte
  • Magaly Queralt
  • Robert Witt

We assess the role of child care in the welfare to work transition using an unusually large and comprehensive data base. Our data are for Massachusetts, a state that began welfare reform in 1995 under a federal waiver, for the period July 1996 through August 1997. We find that both the nature of the child care market and the availability of subsidized care and early education affect the probability that current and former welfare recipients will work. Regarding the child care market, we find that the cost, stability and quality of care matter. We also find that child care subsidies and some types of early education serve to increase employment. To be more specific, we find that increased funding for child care subsidies and the availability of full day kindergarten significantly increase the probability the current and former welfare recipients work.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7583.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7583.

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Date of creation: Mar 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7583
Note: CH LS PE
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  1. Averett, S.L. & Peters, H.E. & Waldman, D.M., 1992. "Tax Credits, Labor Supply, and Child Care," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 92-9, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
  2. Berger, Mark C & Black, Dan A, 1992. "Child Care Subsidies, Quality of Care, and the Labor Supply of Low-Income, Single Mothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(4), pages 635-42, November.
  3. Ribar, David C, 1995. "A Structural Model of Child Care and the Labor Supply of Married Women," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 558-97, July.
  4. Connelly, Rachel, 1992. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on Married Women's Labor Force Participation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(1), pages 83-90, February.
  5. Jean Kimmel, 1992. "Child Care and the Employment Behavior of Single and Married Mothers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 93-14, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  6. Johansen, A-S & Leibowitz, A & Waite, L-J, 1996. "The Importance of Child-Care Characteristics to Choice of Care," Papers 96-21, RAND - Reprint Series.
  7. Kimmel, Jean, 1995. "The Effectiveness of Child-Care Subsidies in Encouraging the Welfare-to-Work Transition of Low-Income Single Mothers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 271-75, May.
  8. Jean Kimmel, 1998. "Child Care Costs As A Barrier To Employment For Single And Married Mothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 287-299, May.
  9. 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.
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