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A Universal Childcare Expansion, Quality, Starting Age, and School Performance

Leroy Andersland ()
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Leroy Andersland: University of Bergen, Department of Economics, Postal: Institutt for økonomi, Universitetet i Bergen, Postboks 7802, 5020 Bergen, Norway

No 8/17, Working Papers in Economics from University of Bergen, Department of Economics

Abstract: In the first decade of the 2000s, the proportion of children aged one or two attending formal childcare in Norway more than doubled, from 38% to 79%. There was an especially large increase in public funding to childcare centers starting in 2003, which accelerated this attendance growth. The consequences of this expansion on children`s outcomes remain largely unknown. This paper study the effects of attending childcare on school performance by using the fact that the childcare expansion was greater in municipalities that had low prereform childcare coverage. The results do not indicate any average effect of the childcare expansion on test scores at age 10. Dividing the municipalities into groups by childcare quality as measured by pre-reform observables, the results show a positive effect on school performance in municipalities with high pre-reform quality and a negative effect in municipalities with low pre-reform quality. Further analyses suggest that not only quality differences between municipalities but also the age of entering formal childcare explain the findings.

Keywords: Public Policy; Institutions; Childcare; Difference-in-Difference (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D02 D10 H31 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-pbe and nep-ure
Date: 2017-08-03
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