Regulation and the Cost of Child Care

21 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2015

See all articles by Devon Gorry

Devon Gorry

Utah State University

Diana Weinert Thomas

Creighton University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 18, 2015


Female labor market choices depend on the availability, affordability, and quality of child care. In this paper, we evaluate different regulatory measures and their effect on both the quality and the cost of child care. First, we analyze data on regulations and costs to estimate the effect of regulatory measures on the cost of child care. Next, we summarize the existing literature on the effect of regulation on child care quality. We find that regulation intended to improve quality often focuses on easily observable measures of the care environment that do not necessarily affect the quality of care but do increase the cost. Thus, we find that the regulatory environment could be improved by eliminating costly measures that do not impact quality of care.

Keywords: Economics of Regulation, Regulation and Business Law: General, Child Care

JEL Classification: L51, K20

Suggested Citation

Gorry, Devon and Thomas, Diana Weinert, Regulation and the Cost of Child Care (February 18, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Devon Gorry

Utah State University ( email )

Logan, UT 84322
United States

Diana Weinert Thomas (Contact Author)

Creighton University ( email )

2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
United States

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