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Formal Child Care and Family Structure: Theory and Evidence

Stefan Bauernschuster and Rainald Borck ()

CESifo Economic Studies, 2016, vol. 62, issue 4, 699-724

Abstract: This article studies the effect of child care provision on family structure. We present a model of a marriage market with positive assortative matching, where in equilibrium, the poorest women stay single. Couples have to decide on the number of children and spousal specialization in home production of public goods and child care. We then study how child care provision affects the equilibrium. Due to specialization in home production, the incentive to use child care is smaller for married mothers than for single mothers. We show that this increases the number of single mothers and the divorce rate. Using survey data from Germany, we present suggestive empirical evidence consistent with this finding.

Keywords: marriage; divorce; single parenthood; child care (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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