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Childcare Prices and Maternal Employment : A Meta-Analysis


  • Yusuf Emre Akgunduz
  • Janneke Plantenga


The literature estimates for labor force participation elasticity with regards to child care prices are extensive and varying. While some estimates imply substantial gains from child care subsidies, others find insignificant effects. To determine the causes of the variance, this paper reviews and analyzes the elasticity sizes using estimates from 36 peer-reviewed articles and working papers in the literature. We start by reviewing the theoretical and empirical aspects related to participation elasticity with regards to child care costs, paying special attention to sample characteristics, methodological aspects and macro level factors. We conclude by providing a meta-regression using control variables based on our review of the literature to explain some of the differences between the estimates. As research builds on and improves the methods and assumptions in prior works, elasticity estimates have become smaller over time. This decline might also be partially explained by changes in labor market characteristics. In countries with high rates of part-time work and very high or very low rates of female labor force participation, we find elasticity rates to be smaller.

Suggested Citation

  • Yusuf Emre Akgunduz & Janneke Plantenga, 2016. "Childcare Prices and Maternal Employment : A Meta-Analysis," Working Papers 1626, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcb:wpaper:1626

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    Cited by:

    1. Thoresen, Thor O. & Vattø, Trine E., 2019. "An up-to-date joint labor supply and child care choice model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 51-73.
    2. Emily Nix & Martin Eckhoff Andresen, 2019. "What Causes the Child Penalty? Evidence from Same Sex Couples and Policy Reforms," Discussion Papers 902, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    3. Wim Van Lancker & Jeroen Horemans, 2017. "Into the Great Wide Unknown: Untangling the Relationship between Childcare Service Use and In-Work Poverty," Working Papers 1704, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    4. repec:esr:resser:rs73 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Childcare prices; Female employment; Meta-analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other

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