Childcare Availability, Household Structure, and Maternal Employment

30 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2014 Last revised: 10 Mar 2015

See all articles by Yukiko Asai

Yukiko Asai

University of Tokyo - Institute of Social Science

Ryo Kambayashi

Hitotsubashi University

Shintaro Yamaguchi

University of Tokyo - Graduate School of Economics

Date Written: February 11, 2015

Abstract

We estimate the causal effects of childcare availability on the maternal employment rate using prefecture panel data constructed from the Japanese quinquennial census 1990-2010. We depart from previous papers on Japan by controlling for prefecture fixed effects, without which the estimates can be severely biased upward. Contrary to popular belief, childcare availability is uncorrelated with maternal employment when prefecture fixed effects are controlled. Evidence suggests that this is because households shift from using informal childcare provided by grandparents to the accredited childcare service, as more and more households do not live with grandparents. If this change of the household structure did not occur, the growth of childcare availability would have increased the maternal employment rate by two percentage points, which accounts for about 30% of the growth in the maternal employment rate from 1990 to 2010.

Keywords: childcare, female labor supply, maternal employment, nuclear family, three-generation family

JEL Classification: J13, J21, J22

Suggested Citation

Asai, Yukiko and Kambayashi, Ryo and Yamaguchi, Shintaro, Childcare Availability, Household Structure, and Maternal Employment (February 11, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2462366 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2462366

Yukiko Asai

University of Tokyo - Institute of Social Science ( email )

Hongo 7-3-1
Tokyo, TOKYO 113-0033
Japan

Ryo Kambayashi

Hitotsubashi University ( email )

2-1 Naka Kunitachi-shi
Tokyo 186-8601
Japan

HOME PAGE: http://www.ier.hit-u.ac.jp/English/faculty/kambayashi.html

Shintaro Yamaguchi (Contact Author)

University of Tokyo - Graduate School of Economics ( email )

Tokyo
Japan

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