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Centre-based versus home-based childcare

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  • Bauchmüller R.

    (UNU-MERIT)

Abstract

Centrebased childcare is seen as a public investment to facilitate maternalemployment. Recent theoretical research proposes that such investmentspotentially lead to substantial gains in child development and thus to high returnsfor society as a whole. However, the empirical evidence is still scarce and oftencontradictory. This study is based on rich survey data of a largescale cohort studyof children living in the Netherlands at the beginning of the new millennium. TheNetherlands has made substantial investments in the last two decades to make themarket of centrebased provisions more professional and farreaching and toimprove childrens school readiness. I study the impact of experiencing centreratherthan homebased childcare on language, cognitive and noncognitive development, assessed at the age of 6. To assess whether very long or intensive childcare spells can be harmful, I account for possible nonlinearity in the correlation between the centrebased childcare experience and the child outcomes. As sensitivity analyses, I also apply instrumental variable and structural equation modelling approaches to try to correct for potential biases in my estimates that would result, for example, from unobserved heterogeneity of parents and children. For both ordinary least square estimates as well as the sensitivity analyses the results do not support the significant shortterm effects of centrebased childcare stated in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Bauchmüller R., 2013. "Centre-based versus home-based childcare," MERIT Working Papers 026, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2013026
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2013/wp2013-026.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Maria del Carmen Huerta & Willem Adema & Jennifer Baxter & Miles Corak & Mette Deding & Matthew C. Gray & Wen-Jui Han & Jane Waldfogel, 2011. "Early Maternal Employment and Child Development in Five OECD Countries," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 118, OECD Publishing.
    2. Brilli, Ylenia & Del Boca, Daniela & Pronzato, Chiara D., 2011. "Exploring the Impacts of Public Childcare on Mothers and Children in Italy: Does Rationing Play a Role?," IZA Discussion Papers 5918, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Paul Gregg & Elizabeth Washbrook & Carol Propper & Simon Burgess, 2005. "The Effects of a Mother's Return to Work Decision on Child Development in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(501), pages 48-80, February.
    4. James Heckman & Anne Layne-Farrar & Petra Todd, 1995. "Does Measured School Quality Really Matter? An Examination of the Earnings-Quality Relationship," NBER Working Papers 5274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Schools, Skills, And Synapses," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 289-324, July.
    6. Ermisch, John F, 1989. "Purchased Child Care, Optimal Family Size and Mother's Employment: Theory and Econometric Analysis," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 2(2), pages 79-102.
    7. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    8. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    9. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Simonsen, Marianne, 2010. "Non-cognitive child outcomes and universal high quality child care," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 30-43, February.
    10. Bernal, Raquel & Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Quasi-structural estimation of a model of childcare choices and child cognitive ability production," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 164-189, May.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Analysis of Education; Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth; Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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