Universal Childcare for the Youngest and the Maternal Labour Supply

47 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2019

See all articles by Astrid Kunze

Astrid Kunze

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESIfo

Xingfei Liu

University of Alberta

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2019


In this paper, we investigate whether the expansion of childcare leads to an increase in the female labour supply. We measure female labour supply at both the extensive and intensive margin. For identification, we exploit a nationwide reform that expanded childcare for 1–2- year-olds in Norway. Our results reveal a significant increase in the overall employment of mothers in the target group, but only weak evidence of an increase in contracted hours of work. However, both adjustments are only short term following the reform. When we consider sub-groups of mothers more closely, we find substantial heterogeneity in the affected outcomes and the timing of these effects. In particular, when we exclude mothers on job-protected maternity leave and with currently zero hours of work from the target group, we estimate even larger effects on employment and now significant effects on actual hours of work. For mothers with more than one child, we find significant long-term effects of the reform on both employment and hours of work.

Keywords: childcare, female labour supply, contracted hours, actual hours, causal effects

JEL Classification: J080, J130, J220

Suggested Citation

Kunze, Astrid and Liu, Xingfei, Universal Childcare for the Youngest and the Maternal Labour Supply (2019). CESifo Working Paper No. 7509. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3338916

Astrid Kunze (Contact Author)

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) - Department of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
N-5035 Bergen, NO-5045
+ 47 55 95 97 54 (Phone)
+ 47 55 95 95 43 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.nhh.no/sam/cv/kunze-astrid.html

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
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CESIfo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679

Xingfei Liu

University of Alberta ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R3

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