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Child-Care Costs and Mothers' Employment Rates. An Empirical Analysis for Austria

  • Helmut Mahringer

    (WIFO)

  • Christine Zulehner

    (WIFO)

The availability of affordable institutional child-care is increasingly discussed as an important determinant of the labour force participation of parents, particularly of mothers. This paper examines the impact of child-care costs on the employment rates of mothers with children younger than 15 years. Using data from the 1995 and 2002 Austrian Microcensus, combined with wage information from Austrian tax records, we estimate the impact of net wages and child-care costs on mothers' employment probabilities. In line with theoretical considerations and most of the international sub-literature, we find a negative elasticity of mothers' employment rates to child-care costs as well as positive elasticity with regard to wages. The point estimates for the impact of net-wages and child-care costs are of similar absolute size. Additionally, empirical results indicate that higher family income (without the earned income of the mother) reduces the employment probabilities of mothers.

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Paper provided by WIFO in its series WIFO Working Papers with number 429.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 14 Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2012:i:429
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  1. Wrohlich, Katharina, 2005. "The Excess Demand for Subsidized Child Care in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1515, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Rachel Connelly & Jean Kimmel, 2001. "The Effect of Child Care Costs on the Labor Force Participation and Welfare Recipiency of Single Mothers: Implications for Welfare Reform," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 01-69, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Pål Schøne, 2004. "Labour supply effects of a cash-for-care subsidy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 703-727, December.
  6. Fersterer, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Are Austrian Returns to Education Falling Over Time?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2313, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Lisa Powell, 1998. "Part-time versus full-time work and child care costs: evidence for married mothers," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 503-511.
  8. Haan, Peter & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2009. "Can Child Care Policy Encourage Employment and Fertility? Evidence from a Structural Model," IZA Discussion Papers 4503, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Viitanen, Tarja K & Arnaud Chevalier, 2003. "The Supply of Childcare in Britain: Do Mothers Queue for Childcare?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 211, Royal Economic Society.
  13. Katharina Wrohlich, 2004. "Child Care Costs and Mothers' Labor Supply: An Empirical Analysis for Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 412, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  14. Tarja Viitanen, 2011. "Child care voucher and labour market behaviour: experimental evidence from Finland," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(23), pages 3203-3212.
  15. Charles Michalopoulos & Philip K. Robins, 2000. "Employment and child-care choices in Canada and the United States," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 435-470, May.
  16. Katharina Wrohlich, 2006. "Labor Supply and Child Care Choices in a Rationed Child Care Market," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 570, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  17. Florence Jaumotte, 2003. "Female Labour Force Participation: Past Trends and Main Determinants in OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 376, OECD Publishing.
  18. Philip K. Robins & Charles Michalopoulos, 2002. "Employment and child-care choices of single-parent families in Canada and the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 465-493.
  19. John Ermisch & Robert Wright, 1994. "Interpretation of negative sample selection effects in wage offer equations," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(11), pages 187-189.
  20. Jenkins, Stephen P & Symons, Elizabeth J, 2001. "Child Care Costs and Lone Mothers' Employment Rates: UK Evidence," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(2), pages 121-47, March.
  21. Blau, David M & Robins, Philip K, 1988. "Child-Care Costs and Family Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 374-81, August.
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