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CHILD CARE PRICES AND MATERNAL EMPLOYMENT: A META†ANALYSIS

Yusuf Emre Akgunduz and Janneke Plantenga

Journal of Economic Surveys, 2018, vol. 32, issue 1, 118-133

Abstract: The literature estimates for labor force participation elasticity with regard to child care prices are extensive and varying. While some estimates imply substantial gains from child care subsidies, others find insignificant effects. To determine the causes of the variance, this paper reviews and analyzes the elasticity sizes using estimates from 36 peer†reviewed articles and working papers in the literature. We start by reviewing the theoretical and empirical aspects related to participation elasticity with regard to child care costs, paying special attention to sample characteristics, methodological aspects, and macro level factors. We conclude by providing a meta†regression using control variables based on our review of the literature to explain some of the differences between the estimates. As research builds on and improves the methods and assumptions in prior works, elasticity estimates have become smaller over time. This decline might also be partially explained by changes in labor market characteristics. In countries with high rates of part†time work and very high or very low rates of female labor force participation, we find elasticity rates to be smaller.

Date: 2018
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