The Effects of Day Care on Health During Childhood: Evidence by Age

54 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2018

See all articles by Gerard J. van den Berg

Gerard J. van den Berg

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Bettina Siflinger

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of day care exposure on behavioral disorders and mental and physical health at various ages during childhood. We draw on a unique set of merged population register data from Sweden over the period 1999-2008. This includes merged information at the individual level from the inpatient and outpatient registers, the population register and the income tax register. The outpatient register contains all ambulatory care contacts including all contacts with physicians and therapists. Visits are recorded by day, and comprehensive diagnoses are recorded for each visit.By exploiting variation in day care exposure by age generated by a major day care policy reform, we estimate cumulative and instantaneous effects on child health at different ages. We find a positive cumulative impact on behavior at primary school ages, in particular for children from low socio-economic status households, and substitution of infections from primary school ages to low ages. All this affects health care utilization and leads to a moderate reduction in health care costs. Results are confirmed by analyses based on a sibling design and on regional and household-specific components of day care fees.

Keywords: child care, pre-school, infections, non-cognitive ability, behavioral disorders, illness, education, health registers, day-care fees

JEL Classification: I12, J13, J14, C23, C25, C83

Suggested Citation

van den Berg, Gerard J. and Siflinger, Bettina, The Effects of Day Care on Health During Childhood: Evidence by Age. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11447. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3158153

Gerard J. Van den Berg (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam
Netherlands
+31 20 444 6132 (Phone)
+32 20 444 6020 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Tinbergen Institute

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Bettina Siflinger

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

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