Daycare Choice and Ethnic Diversity: Evidence from a Randomized Survey
48 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2020
Date Written: December 20, 2019
Discrimination among individuals is very well documented in the literature, but much less is known about how discrimination is passed down through generations. By designing and conducting a randomized survey to study daycare choices and ethnic diversity, we provide evidence of how biases against ethnic minorities affect parental choices of early childhood education. We asked parents in Copenhagen to choose between two daycares — structured vs. free-play. Each daycare had testimonials from (fictive) parents whose child allegedly attended the daycare, and the survey randomized the names of the testifying parents across the sample. Another novelty of our study is that we are able to capture how discriminatory attitudes towards ethnic minorities interact with preferences for specific teaching styles. In our results we find bias against ethnic minorities among parents who prefer the structured daycare. We validate our results through data on willingness to travel to the preferred daycare, which is higher for parents who prefer the structured daycare when there was an ethnic minority name associated with the free-play daycare.
Keywords: school choice, discrimination and intergenerational transmission
JEL Classification: D15, D63, J15, I24
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