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

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  • Janet Currie
  • V. Joseph Hotz

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet Currie & V. Joseph Hotz, 2002. "Accidents Will Happen? Unintentional Childhood Injuries and the Effects of Child Care Regulations," JCPR Working Papers 268, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:jopovw:268
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    Cited by:

    1. Tim R. Sass, 2015. "Licensure and Worker Quality: A Comparison of Alternative Routes to Teaching," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 58(1), pages 1-35.
    2. V. Joseph Hotz & Mo Xiao, 2005. "The Impact of Minimum Quality Standards on Firm Entry, Exit and Product Quality: The Case of the Child Care Market," Working Papers 05-28, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Cameron, Trudy Ann & DeShazo, J.R. & Johnson, Erica H., 2010. "The effect of children on adult demands for health-risk reductions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 364-376, May.
    4. Morrill, Melinda Sandler, 2011. "The effects of maternal employment on the health of school-age children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 240-257, March.
    5. Hanaoka, Chie & Ogura, Seiritsu, 2012. "The effect of hospital medical services on child mortality in Japan," CIS Discussion paper series 549, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    6. Herbst, Chris M., 2013. "The impact of non-parental child care on child development: Evidence from the summer participation “dip”," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 86-105.
    7. V. Joseph Hotz & Mo Xiao, 2011. "The Impact of Regulations on the Supply and Quality of Care in Child Care Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1775-1805, August.
    8. William T. Gormley Jr., 2007. "Early childhood care and education: Lessons and puzzles," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 633-671.
    9. Blau, David M., 2007. "Unintended consequences of child care regulations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 513-538, June.
    10. Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Social Mobility, Life Chances, and the Early Years," CASE Papers 088, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    11. Herbst, Chris M., 2012. "The Impact of Non-Parental Child Care on Child Development: Evidence from the Summer Participation "Dip"," IZA Discussion Papers 7039, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Hau Chyi & Orgul Demet Ozturk & Weilong Zhang, 2014. "Welfare Reform And Children'S Early Cognitive Development," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 32(4), pages 729-751, October.
    13. Haizhen Lin, 2010. "Do Minimum Quality Standards Improve Quality? A Case Study of the Nursing Home Industry," Working Papers 2010-01, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.

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