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Accidents Will Happen? Unintentional Childhood Injuries and the Effects of Child Care Regulations

  • Janet Currie
  • V. Joseph Hotz

Accidents are the leading cause of death and injury among children in the United States, far surpassing diseases as a health threat. We examine the effects of child care regulation on rates of accidental injury using both micro data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and Vital Statistics mortality records. Estimates from both data sources suggest that requiring day care center directors to have more education reduces the incidence of unintentional injuries. An auxiliary analysis of the choice of child care mode confirms that these regulations are binding and that higher educational requirements tend to crowd some children out of care, as do regulations requiring frequent inspections of child care facilities and lower pupil-teacher ratios. Thus, regulation creates winners and losers: Some children benefit from safer environments, while those who are squeezed out of the regulated sector are placed at higher risk of injury.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research in its series JCPR Working Papers with number 268.

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Date of creation: 08 Jan 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:268
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  9. Matthew J. Neidell, 2000. "Early Parental Time Investments In Children's Human Capital Development: Effects Of Time In The First Year On Cognitive And Non-Cognitive Outcomes," UCLA Economics Working Papers 806, UCLA Department of Economics.
  10. Sonalde Desai & P. Chase-Lansdale & Robert Michael, 1989. "Mother or Market? Effects of Maternal Employment on the Intellectual Ability of 4-Year-Old Children," Demography, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 545-561, November.
  11. Hotz, V.J. & Kilburn, M.R., 1995. "Regulating Child Care: The Effetcs of State Regulation on Child Care Demand and its Cost," Papers 95-03, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  12. John G. Riley, 2001. "Silver Signals: Twenty-Five Years of Screening and Signaling," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 432-478, June.
  13. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
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  15. David M. Blau, 2003. "Do child care regulations affect the child care and labor markets?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 443-465.
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