Who Benefits from Universal Child Care? Estimating Marginal Returns to Early Child Care Attendance

66 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018

See all articles by Thomas Cornelißen

Thomas Cornelißen

University of Hannover

Christian Dustmann

University College London; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Anna Raute

University of Mannheim

Uta Schönberg

University of Rochester; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the heterogeneous treatment effects of a universal child care (preschool) program in Germany by exploiting the exogenous variation in attendance caused by a reform that led to a large staggered expansion across municipalities. Drawing on novel administrative data from the full population of compulsory school entry examinations, we find that children with lower (observed and unobserved) gains are more likely to select into child care than children with higher gains. This pattern of reverse selection on gains is driven by unobserved family background characteristics: children from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to attend child care than children from advantaged backgrounds but have larger treatment effects because of their worse outcome when not enrolled in child care.

Keywords: universal child care, child development, marginal treatment effects

JEL Classification: J13, J15, I28

Suggested Citation

Cornelißen, Thomas and Dustmann, Christian and Raute, Anna and Schönberg, Uta, Who Benefits from Universal Child Care? Estimating Marginal Returns to Early Child Care Attendance. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11688, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3234211

Thomas Cornelißen (Contact Author)

University of Hannover ( email )

Welfengarten 1
D-30167 Hannover, 30167
Germany

Christian Dustmann

University College London ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+44 20 7679 5832 (Phone)
+44 20 7916 2775 (Fax)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Anna Raute

University of Mannheim ( email )

Universitaetsbibliothek Mannheim
Zeitschriftenabteilung
Mannheim, 68131
Germany

Uta Schönberg

University of Rochester ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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