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Longer School Schedules, Childcare and the Quality of Mothers’ Employment: Evidence from School Reform in Chile

Author

Listed:
  • Berthelon, Matias
  • Kruger, Diana
  • Lauer, Catalina
  • Tiberti, Luca
  • Zamora, Carlos

Abstract

Ample empirical evidence has found that access to childcare for preschool children increases mothers’ labor force participation and employment. In this paper, we investigate whether increased childcare for primary school children improves the quality of jobs mothers find by estimating the causal effect of a school schedule reform in Chile. Combining plausibly exogenous temporal and spatial variations in school schedules with a panel of individual mothers’ employment between 2002 and 2015, we estimated a fixed-effects model that controlled for unobserved heterogeneity. We found a positive effect of access to full-day schools on several measures of ’the quality of mothers’ jobs, which were correlated to working full-time. We also found small, positive effects on quality of fathers’ jobs. Our evidence suggests that the mechanism driving the effect was the effect of the reform’s implicit subsidy to the cost of childcare on the opportunity cost of mothers’ time. We also found that less educated mothers benefited most from the reform. Thus, childcare can increase household welfare by improving parents’ jobs and can play a role in reducing inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Berthelon, Matias & Kruger, Diana & Lauer, Catalina & Tiberti, Luca & Zamora, Carlos, 2020. "Longer School Schedules, Childcare and the Quality of Mothers’ Employment: Evidence from School Reform in Chile," GLO Discussion Paper Series 525, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:525
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment quality; job quality; women’s labor force participation; women’s labor supply; full-day schooling; childcare; education reform; Chile;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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