Free daycare policies, family choices and child development
Anna Busse and
Christina Gathmann ()
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2020, vol. 179, issue C, 240-260
Over recent decades, many governments have expanded state-subsidized daycare for preschool children. Using the staggered introduction of free universal daycare for children between the ages of two and six, we show that free daycare increases attendance only among 2-3-year-old children. There is no effect for older children for which attendance rates have been high even before the reforms. Similarly, labor market attachment increases for mothers with 2-3-year-olds, while mothers of 4-6-year-olds respond mostly at the intensive margin. Short-run development for the average child is largely unaffected by the reforms. Responses and short-run benefits are much more pronounced for poorer and low-skilled families than for the average household. Hence, despite being a universal program, free daycare helps to level the playing field for children from disadvantaged backgrounds – provided the policy is focused on age ranges with low prior attendance.
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:179:y:2020:i:c:p:240-260
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.
More articles in Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Catherine Liu ().