Preschool Child Care and Child Well-Being in Germany: Does the Migrant Experience Differ?

Abstract

Because the value of preschool child care is under intensive debate among both policy-makers and society in general, this paper analyzes the relation between preschool care and the well-being of children and adolescents in Germany. It specifically examines differences in outcomes based on child socioeconomic background by focusing on the heterogeneous effects for migrant children. Our findings, based on data from the German Health Interview and Examination Survey of Children and Adolescents (KiGGS), suggest that children who have experienced child care have a slightly lower well-being overall. For migrant children, however, the outcomes indicate a positive relation. These results remain robust after controlling for selection into child care on observables and using an instrumental variable approach to address potential endogeneity.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Characteristics that lead to selection could be, for instance, social emotional outcomes such as self-confidence and/or peer-relations [as suggested by Felfe and Lalive (2018), who find selection into child-care to be driven by these outcomes].

  2. 2.

    Since the relevance of the constructed instruments rely highly on the degree of heteroskedasticity within the data, it might be the case that our 2SLS estimates suffer from a weak identification issue. To test this hypothesis, we compute the Wald F-statistic of the respective first-stage regression, which, in fact, shows no sign of weak identification.

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Correspondence to Micha Kaiser.

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The authors would like to thank Vadim Kufenko, Klaus Prettner, and Alfonso Sousa-Poza, as well as two anonymous referees for their valuable comments and discussion.

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Kaiser, M., Bauer, J.M. Preschool Child Care and Child Well-Being in Germany: Does the Migrant Experience Differ?. Soc Indic Res 144, 1367–1390 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-019-02064-5

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Keywords

  • Child care
  • Migrants
  • Preschool
  • Well-being
  • Education inequality

JEL Classification

  • J13
  • J15
  • I28