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15. Mai 2019

Cluster-Seminar Öffentliche Finanzen und Lebenslagen

The Impact of Formal Child Care on Parenting Intensity


15. Mai 2019
12:30 - 13:30


Anna J. Schwartz Room
Room 5.2.010
Mohrenstraße 58
10117 Berlin


Jonas Jessen
(together with C. Katharina Spieß and Sevrin Waights)
We examine the impact of day care usage on parenting activities. We measure parenting activities as the amount of time that parents spend on child rearing and, in particular, on educational activities with children. Using time-use data and panel data of a household survey, we estimate the effects at the extensive (use vs. non-use) and intensive (full-day vs. half-day) margins of day care, respectively. We make use of variation in day care availability across age groups and geographies to implement fuzzy-DD and IV-2SLS approaches. Our estimates imply that day care usage reduces the amount of time that parents spend with their children overall but that there are only small impacts on the time spent on educational activities, specifically. As a result, day care usage increases the educational content of the home environment. This finding offers evidence for a previously under-explored channel for child development effects, i.e. through the effect of day care on parenting intensity. We find these effects to be more pronounced for less-educated parents, which may help explain the bigger child development impacts for this group seen in the literature.

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