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The effects of lengthening the school day on female labor supply: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in Chile


  • Dante Contreras
  • Paulina Sepúlveda C.
  • Soledad Cabrera


In 1996, the Chilean government approved the extension of the school day, increasing the amount of time that students spend at school by 30%. Using data from the Chilean socio- economic household survey and administrative data from the Ministry of Education for 1990- 2006, we exploit the quasi-experimental nature of the reform’s implementation by time and region in order to identify the causal impact of the program on labor participation, employment and hours worked for women between 20 and 65 years old. The identification strategy relies on a fixed effect model of repeated cross-section. The results show a positive and significant effect on labor participation and female employment in all age groups and a negative and statistically significant effect on the number of hours worked. The main conclusion of this study is that the implicit childcare subsidy induced by the program had a positive and significant impact on the labor supply of women in Chile.

Suggested Citation

  • Dante Contreras & Paulina Sepúlveda C. & Soledad Cabrera, 2010. "The effects of lengthening the school day on female labor supply: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in Chile," Working Papers wp323, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:udc:wpaper:wp323

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniela Del Boca & Daniela Vuri, 2007. "The mismatch between employment and child care in Italy: the impact of rationing," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(4), pages 805-832, October.
    2. Daniela Del Boca, 2002. "The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(3), pages 549-573.
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    Cited by:

    1. Berthelon, Matias E. & Kruger, Diana I., 2011. "Risky behavior among youth: Incapacitation effects of school on adolescent motherhood and crime in Chile," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 41-53.
    2. repec:idb:brikps:7203 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Janina Nemitz, 2015. "The effect of all-day primary school programs on maternal labor supply," ECON - Working Papers 213, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    4. Nemitz, Janina, 2016. "The Effect of All-Day Primary School Programs on Maternal Labor Supply," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145528, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Berthelon, Matias & Kruger, Diana & Oyarzún, Melanie, 2015. "The Effects of Longer School Days on Mothers' Labor Force Participation," IZA Discussion Papers 9212, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item


    Female labor supply; childcare; fertility; labor supply; Chile.;

    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
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods

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