Long Run Effects of Universal Childcare on Personality Traits

48 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2019

See all articles by Maximilian Bach

Maximilian Bach

Humboldt University of Berlin

Josefine Koebe

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Students

Frauke Peter

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

Although universal childcare has become an essential tool to support child development, few economic studies analyze its effects on non-cognitive skills and little is known about causal effects on these skills in the long run. In this paper we go beyond short run analyses and examine the long run effects of one additional year of universal childcare on students’ personality traits in adolescence. We focus on personality traits as part of their non-cognitive skills set and as important predictors of later educational achievements. As of 1996, a legal entitlement to universal childcare applied to children of three years and older in Germany. However, severe shortages in the former-West meant that many children could not get a childcare place and had to wait a full year until the next entry date. Using data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) we estimate effects of one additional year of childcare by exploiting geographical variation in the timing of childcare entry arising from local supply constraints. We find that an earlier entry in universal childcare increases extroversion in adolescence, which has been shown to be associated with favorable labor market outcomes.

Keywords: early childcare, non-cognitive skills, personality traits

JEL Classification: I21, J13, J18, J24

Suggested Citation

Bach, Maximilian and Koebe, Josefine and Peter, Frauke, Long Run Effects of Universal Childcare on Personality Traits (July 2019). DIW Berlin Discussion Paper No. 1815, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3433673 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3433673

Maximilian Bach (Contact Author)

Humboldt University of Berlin ( email )

Unter den Linden 6
Berlin, AK Berlin 10099
Germany

Josefine Koebe

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), Students ( email )

Germany

Frauke Peter

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

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