Childcare availability and maternal labor supply in a setting of high potential impact
- 132 Downloads
We estimate the effect of subsidized childcare availability on Hungarian mothers’ labor supply, using a discontinuity in kindergarten eligibility at age 3 of children. The effect is identified in a setting where policy intervention has a high potential impact, since maternal labor supply is very low under age 3 of children, but high for mothers with older children. We find that access to subsidized childcare increases maternal labor supply by 11.7 percentage points or 24%, an impact that is higher than what has been found in previous quasi-experimental studies from most other countries. However, the potential effectiveness of future childcare expansion under age 3 may be constrained by further institutional factors, such as very long parental leave, traditional cultural views regarding maternal employment and institutional childcare, and the lack of flexible work forms. A comprehensive policy approach, including linked reforms of these other factors, is needed to achieve such a high effect.
KeywordsSubsidized Childcare Maternal Labor Supply Eligibility Cutoff Instrumental Variables
JEL ClassificationsH24 J13 J22
This research was funded by a National Hungarian Research Grant (Nos.: KJS-K-101665/2011 and KJS-K-101862/2011).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Angrist JD (1990) Lifetime earnings and the Vietnam era draft lottery: evidence from social security administrative records. Am Econ Rev 80:313–336Google Scholar
- Blaskó Z (2011) [Three years at home with the child-but not at any cost-public opinion regarding mothers’ employment.] Három évig a gyermek mellett-de nem minden áron. A közvélemény a kisgyermekes anyák munkába állásáról. Demográfia 54:23–44Google Scholar
- Blau D (2003) Child care subsidy programs. In: NBER, pp 443–516Google Scholar
- Bound J, Jaeger DA (1996) On the validity of season of birth as an instrument in wage equations: a comment on Angrist and Krueger’s. In: Working paper no. 5835. National Bureau of Economic ResearchGoogle Scholar
- Chevalier A, Viitanen TK (2005) The causality between female labour force participation and the availability of childcare. In: SSRN scholarly paper no. ID 687702. Social Science Research Network, RochesterGoogle Scholar
- Chone P, Leblanc D, Robert-Bobee I (2003) Female labor supply and child care in France. In: SSRN scholarly paper no. ID 462429. Social Science Research Network, RochesterGoogle Scholar
- Del Boca D (2002) The effect of child care and part time opportunities on participation and fertility decisions in Italy. In: IZA discussion paper no. 427. Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)Google Scholar
- Dickert-Conlin S, Elder TE (2009) Suburban legend: school cutoff dates and the timing of births. In: SSRN scholarly paper no. ID 1342520. Social Science Research Network, RochesterGoogle Scholar
- EC (2008) European Commission-PRESS RELEASES-Press release-childcare services in the EU [WWW Document]. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-08-592_en.htm. Accessed 20 April 2016
- Hasková H, Győry A, Szikra D (2012) How did we get the “magic 3”? The timing of parental leave and child care services in the Visegrád-countries. Budapest Institute. http://www.budapestinstitute.eu/uploads/Magic3.pdf
- Ichino A, Galdeano ASD (2004) Reconciling motherhood and work: evidence from time use data in three countries. In: CSEF working paper no. 114. Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, ItalyGoogle Scholar
- Kertesi G, Kézdi G, Molnár T, Szabó-Morvai Á (2012) School catchment areas in Hungary. Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of SciencesGoogle Scholar
- Kestenbaum B (1987) Seasonality of birth: two findings from the decennial census. Soc Biol 34:244–248Google Scholar
- Kimmel J (1992) Child care and the employment behavior of single and married mothers. In: Upjohn Institute Working Paper https://doi.org/10.17848/wp93-14