IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/vfsc16/145765.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Effects of a Universal Child Care Reform on Child Health – Evidence from Sweden

Author

Listed:
  • Siflinger, Bettina
  • van den Berg, Gerard

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of a Swedish universal, public child care reform on child health outcomes. We draw on a unique set of merged population register data from the province of Skane, following over the period 1999-2008. It contains merged information at the individual level from the population register, the income tax register, the medical birth register and the inpatient and outpatient registers. The outpatient register contains all ambulatory care contacts including all contacts with physicians and therapists. Visits are recorded by day, and diagnoses are recorded for each visit. Our identification strategy relies on a sibling sample design that allows to compare the impact of the reform across siblings within households. Despite exploiting a rather general measure of the reform impact, we additionally make use of detailed information on household-specific monthly child care fee. Our results suggest that children being fully affected by the reform have better physical health at ages 4-5 and 6-7, are significantly better off in development and psychological conditions at age 6-7. These effects are particularly distinct for children from low income families, being in line with the literature on early child interventions. Changes in child care prices also predict better physical health for younger children. The results are mainly driven by two mechanisms, a crowding out effect of informal care and an income effect, and are strongly supported by the so called hygiene hypothesis. The findings suggest that the availability of affordable high quality and universal, public child care plays a crucial role for health development throughout childhood. An analysis of children's health costs moreover provides important implications for public health expenditures.

Suggested Citation

  • Siflinger, Bettina & van den Berg, Gerard, 2016. "The Effects of a Universal Child Care Reform on Child Health – Evidence from Sweden," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145765, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145765
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/145765/1/VfS_2016_pid_6792.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Björn Bartling & Ernst Fehr & Daniel Schunk, 2012. "Health effects on children’s willingness to compete," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 15(1), pages 58-70, March.
    2. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
    3. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.
    4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Katrine V. L�ken & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2014. "Care or Cash? The Effect of Child Care Subsidies on Student Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(5), pages 824-837, December.
    5. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
    7. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2012. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement: Evidence from the Earned Income Tax Credit," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(5), pages 1927-1956, August.
    8. Brink, Anna & Nordblom, Katarina & Wahlberg, Roger, 2007. "Maximum fee vs child benefit: A welfare analysis of Swedish child-care fee reform," Working Papers in Economics 250, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    9. Drange, Nina & Havnes, Tarjei & Sandsør, Astrid M.J., 2016. "Kindergarten for all: Long run effects of a universal intervention," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 164-181.
    10. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul, 2009. "The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 219-234, February.
    11. Philip Oreopoulos & Mark Stabile & Randy Walld & Leslie L. Roos, 2008. "Short-, Medium-, and Long-Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis Using Siblings and Twins," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    12. David M. Blau & Alison P. Hagy, 1998. "The Demand for Quality in Child Care," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(1), pages 104-146, February.
    13. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-364, June.
    14. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile & Phongsack Manivong & Leslie L. Roos, 2010. "Child Health and Young Adult Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
    15. Lundin, Daniela & Mörk, Eva & Öckert, Björn, 2008. "How far can reduced childcare prices push female labour supply?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 647-659, August.
    16. Tekin, Erdal, 2005. "Child care subsidy receipt, employment, and child care choices of single mothers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-6, October.
    17. Eva Mörk & Anna Sjögren & Helena Svaleryd, 2013. "Childcare costs and the demand for children—evidence from a nationwide reform," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(1), pages 33-65, January.
    18. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, August.
    19. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    20. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2015. "Is universal child care leveling the playing field?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 100-114.
    21. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
    22. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children's Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700.
    23. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    24. 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).
    25. 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.
    26. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
    27. Tarjei Havnes & Magne Mogstad, 2011. "No Child Left Behind: Subsidized Child Care and Children's Long-Run Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 97-129, May.
    28. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    29. Hanes, Niklas & Holmlund, Linda & Wikström, Magnus, 2009. "Assessing the Effects of the Child-Care Fee Reform on Public Expenditures and Taxation," Umeå Economic Studies 780, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    30. Anna Brink & Katarina Nordblom & Roger Wahlberg, 2007. "Maximum fee versus child benefit: a welfare analysis of Swedish child-care fee reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 14(4), pages 457-480, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Siflinger, Bettina M., 2022. "The effects of a daycare reform on health in childhood – Evidence from Sweden," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    2. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 15, pages 1315-1486, Elsevier.
    3. Drange, Nina & Havnes, Tarjei & Sandsør, Astrid M.J., 2016. "Kindergarten for all: Long run effects of a universal intervention," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 164-181.
    4. van den Berg, Gerard J. & Siflinger, Bettina M., 2018. "The Effects of Day Care on Health During Childhood: Evidence by Age," IZA Discussion Papers 11447, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Christina Gathmann & Björn Sass, 2018. "Taxing Childcare: Effects on Childcare Choices, Family Labor Supply, and Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(3), pages 665-709.
    6. Brutti, Zelda & Montolio, Daniel, 2021. "Preventing criminal minds: Early education access and adult offending behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 97-126.
    7. Hideo Akabayashi & TIm Ruberg & Chizuru Shikishima & Jun Yamashita, 2023. "Education-Oriented and Care-Oriented Preschools:Implications on Child Development," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2023-009, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    8. Drange, Nina & Havnes, Tarjei, 2015. "Child Care Before Age Two and the Development of Language and Numeracy: Evidence from a Lottery," IZA Discussion Papers 8904, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Sneha Elango & Jorge Luis García & James J. Heckman & Andrés Hojman, 2015. "Early Childhood Education," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume 2, pages 235-297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Akabayashi, Hideo & Ruberg, Tim & Shikishima, Chizuru & Yamashita, Jun, 2023. "Education-oriented and care-oriented preschools: Implications on child development," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    11. Arpin, Emmanuelle & de Oliveira, Claire & Siddiqi, Arjumand & Laporte, Audrey, 2023. "The “Long-arm” of chronic conditions in childhood: Evidence from Canada using linked survey-administrative data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
    12. Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Lausten, Mette & Pozzoli, Dario, 2012. "Does Mother Know Best? Parental Discrepancies in Assessing Child Functioning," IZA Discussion Papers 6962, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Herbst, Chris M. & Tekin, Erdal, 2010. "Child care subsidies and child development," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 618-638, August.
    14. Berlinski,Samuel G. & Ferreyra,Maria Marta & Flabbi,Luca & Martin,Juan David, 2020. "Child Care Markets, Parental Labor Supply, and Child Development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9427, The World Bank.
    15. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2018. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1360-1446, December.
    16. Tarjei Havnes & Magne Mogstad, 2009. "No Child Left Behind. Universal Child Care and Children's Long-Run Outcomes," Discussion Papers 582, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    17. Christina Felfe & Martin Huber, 2017. "Does preschool boost the development of minority children?: the case of Roma children," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 180(2), pages 475-502, February.
    18. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    19. Kuehnle, Daniel & Oberfichtner, Michael, 2017. "Does early child care attendance influence children's cognitive and non-cognitive skill development?," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168241, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    20. Abrahamsen, Signe A. & Ginja, Rita & Riise, Julie, 2021. "School Health Programs: Education, Health, and Welfare Dependency of Young Adults," IZA Discussion Papers 14546, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc16:145765. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfsocea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.